Up 8:30. W&P - calculus, history, divorce. Brecht - well into Svendborg poems, some effective songs in there. Why don’t workers fight a war for themselves? Is it just the resources? Breakfast, left for Spacious (co-working space in Midtown, pretty empty Sundays), worked on copyright section from last night about 11:45-3. 3 grafs, I guess I’ll call this section done (except for footnotes). Move on to form(alism) section; doubt I’ll have much time to work before Wed. afternoon. Grabbed a bite, read Michael Rogin’s 1992 article on The Jazz Singer. Difficult amalgam of film theory/psychoanalysis/social theory; not that useful on Berlin/“Blue Skies” as such, but I guess I’ll have to read the book it became (Blackface, White Noise). Also read, quickly, Charles Hartman, “Dylan’s Bridges,” from New Literary History 2015, which Eric Lott told me about last week; it overlaps with comments in Hartman’s Verse: An Introduction, which I already cite. Not so much wrong (though I could nitpick) as limited in scope. Called my dad. Read 20 p. Coolidge, went across the street to MoMa to see The Yellow Ticket (Raoul Walsh 1931), which refers to a special passport prostitutes (including persecuted Jews like heroine Elissa Landi) could use in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Or so the story claims. Worth it for Lionel Barrymore. A guy about my age engaged me in conversation about Walsh, etc. on the way up the escalator, didn’t stop ’til the Jackson Heights. I guess I’m not much less monomaniacal in the right frame of mind. Home a little after 8. Shifted some boxes around, put on new shoelaces. Checked tomorrow’s weather conditions (school snow day, but is City Hall open?); inconclusive. Listened to Kirsty MacColl, Tropical Depression, her last (2001) album - sort of a less self-regarding Rei Momo, though some standouts (“Autumngirlsoup”) aren’t “Latin.” I note that Ruts/Aztec Camera drummer Dave Ruffy is the producer, and there are a couple co-writes w/ Graham Gouldman (“For Your Love,” “Bus Stop,” 10cc). Read 40 p. Coolidge (20 earlier while waiting for movie): He asks, “How many times can I use the word/poem without sinking the poem?” (130), a fair question but the books works because there’s too much of it. He’s settled mainly into sonnet-size page-poems by the 2/3 mark, but invention keeps up: “Benny Hoover had a collection of pirate shit/he turned into a poem” (171; naming in Coolidge is a whole ‘nothing thing); “the socialist party had now room for poems/vaudeville sometimes was a poem” (172). And yet: “collected works empty words/never home never done” (186). Put on The Best of Roberta Flack, lights out 11-ish.
The Pearlstein quote (Kimmelman, 160) is “Lucky artists are the ones who hook into a problem beyond solution.” Does this partly explain Brecht’s fecundity (in the likely event that his revolutionary goal was quixotically unachievable at the time)? (Then what explains Coolidge?)