Critical Linking: June 5, 2012

Famed as the bar where Dylan Thomas drank right before he died, the White  Horse Tavern was also patronized by another Dylan (the one named Bob), not  to mention Anais Nin, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, and Jack Kerouac.  Kerouac got tossed out of the bar on several occasions, and wrote that he once  found ‘Go home Kerouac’ written over the urinals (in some versions of the story  it’s ‘Jack Go Home’ or ‘Go Home Jack’, and people still write variations on the  wall).

Did you get tossed out of the White Horse Tavern last night after the BEA Buzz Panel? If so, you’re in good company.


 NOTE: There is no extra credit available for this course under any circumstances.   Late work is not permitted; please contact the Department of Temporal Investigations if you need to use a rift in the space-time continuum and/or the Guardian of Forever in order to submit work on time.   Interpretive dance quizzes must be performed on the day assigned, but may be transmitted via holographic feed, if necessary.  

And students think that professors are already too strict with their late policies.


Is there an iconic literary place we should know?

The aforementioned City Lights is the most obvious answer to this question. Anyone with any literary interests who goes to San Francisco should visit it at least once, and then get a drink across Columbus Avenue at Tosca. The house coffee (hot chocolate, steamed milk and brandy) is great on a cold day. A newer bookstore/gallery that is really interesting is Press: Works on Paper, in the Mission District, you can find some really exciting books and book-related items there.

I really wish that someone would collect advice like this from Matthew Zapruder and make a literary travel guide for cities all throughout the country.


But wait, what’s that now? The writer Obama shouldn’t have to be ashamed of reading is Daniel Woodrell? The Daniel Woodrell who is one of our finest contemporary American writers, whose gorgeous and harrowing novels take us not just to the heart of the Ozarks but also to the heart of America’s failures, that explore poverty and the underclass with such insight and artistry? Daniel Woodrell should be required reading for Obama and any other politician who wants to understand how desperate these times are for so many Americans.

Art, as has always been the case, imitates life.

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