Pete Townshend’s last wish, The Bloom (Harold), and more


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Loose cannon Pete Townshend of The Who gives a fascinating interview to Rolling Stone. Supporting his group’s latest last tour, a marketing fiction the guitarist himself has a hard time taking seriously, Townshend talks about his Sixties contemporaries Robert Plant and Bob Dylan as well as offering this moving death bed fantasy:

“I just hope that on my deathbed I don’t embarrass myself by asking someone, ‘Can you pass me my guitar? And will you run the backing tape of “Baba O’Riley?” I just want to do it one more time.'”

Reminds me of the great Frank Sinatra toast: “May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine.”

Over at Vulture is a far too short afternoon tea interview with Harold Bloom, 84. Though, alas, The Bloom is old my dears, even his most scattered of thoughts remain eminently quotable. And, peering in at the margins, one can still squint to see the Bloom of “Anxiety of Influence” as in this quote on Emily Dickinson and “the close relationship between her and Shakespeare, who in the end is the dominant figure for her, as he should be for all of us.” The very Harold Bloom title of the latest book (number 45 for those counting): “The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime.”

Legendary publisher Dalkey Archive Press is moving to University of Houston-Victoria. Among the authors who have been published by this venerable house are Djuna Barnes, William Gaddis, William Gass and Gilbert Sorrentino. A statement on the publisher’s site reads:

“…relocation to UHV will establish the press with a university that can best help the organization achieve permanence on the American and international literary scene. The relocation also will foster the organization’s educational mission to preserve its exceptional literary heritage for future generations and take on new challenges deep into the 21st century.” (h/t Ted Gioia)

HarperCollins in Australia has apologized and withdrawn a biography by David Day of former Prime Minister Paul Keating that asserted he secretly suffered from dyslexia. In a statement to Keating quoted by Publishers Weekly, HarperCollins confirms:

“Since publication, you have informed us that this is absolutely not true. HarperCollins Australia and David Day accept your statement and acknowledge that those assertions in the book are false and we withdraw them unreservedly.”

Sad news that artist Chris Burden died at his home in California over the weekend. He was 69.