Friday, December 27, 2013

Death of the Black-Haired Girl By Robert Stone

Click on the above link to read all about it(and a few pages for free)on the page.

Robert Stone's latest novel. He is my favorite living fiction writer. At least he is trying to write serious fiction and not just best sellers or books for children of all ages.

Robert Stone
The link below is to the New York Times review of the book.

Robert Stone (novelist)

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Robert Stone
Robert stone 2010.jpg
Robert Stone at the 2010 Texas Book Festival.
Born(1937-08-21) August 21, 1937 (age 76)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
OccupationAuthor, journalist
Literary movementNaturalism, Stream of consciousness
Notable work(s)Dog Soldiers
Notable award(s)National Book Award 1975
Robert Stone (born August 21, 1937) is an American novelist.
He won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1975 for his novel Dog Soldiers[1] and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and once for the PEN/Faulkner Awards.[2][3][4][5] Dog Soldiers was adapted as a film, Who'll Stop the Rain in 1978 starring Nick Nolte, and Time magazine included it in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.[6]
He has also received Guggenheim[7] and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, the five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award.
His best known work is characterized by action-tinged adventures, political concerns and dark humor. Many of his novels are set in unusual, exotic landscapes of raging social turbulence, such as the Vietnam War; a post-coup violent banana republic in Central America; Jim Crow-era New Orleans, and late 1990's Jerusalem.


Robert Stone was born in Brooklyn, New York. Until the age of six he was raised by his mother, who suffered from schizophrenia; after she was institutionalized, he spent several years in a Catholic orphanage. In his short story "Absence of Mercy", which he has called autobiographical,[8] the protagonist Mackay is placed at age five in an orphanage described as having had "the social dynamic of a coral reef".
The battered protagonists and "harrowing creations" in Stone's fiction often transmit a "mix of gloom and bleak irony" that would seem to come from Stone's personal experience: he had a difficult upbringing (besides his mother's schizophrenia, his father abandoned Stone's mother soon after his birth)[9] and Stone has had his share of struggles with alcohol and drugs.[10] Stone dropped out of high school in 1954 and joined the Navy for four years. At sea, he went to many remote places, including Antarctica and Egypt. These nautical experiences were at times violent; he witnessed the French Army bombing Port Said.
In the early 1960s, he briefly attended New York University; worked as a copyboy at the New York Daily News; married and moved to New Orleans; and attended the Wallace Stegner workshop at Stanford University, where he began writing a novel. Although he met the influential Beat Generation writer Ken Kesey and other Merry Pranksters, he was not a passenger on the famous 1964 bus trip to New York, contrary to some media reports.[11] Living in New York at the time, he met the bus on its arrival and accompanied Kesey to an "after-bus party" whose attendees included a dyspeptic Jack Kerouac.[12]
At age 72, just after the publication of his second short-story collection Fun With Problems, Stone admitted (during a newspaper interview) that he suffered from severe emphysema: "It's my punishment for chain-smoking," he says. But with a wry laugh, he recalls his reaction to being told of the harm smoking could cause him in old age: "I'm not going to know I'm alive!".[10]
Stone has taught in the creative writing program at Yale University. For the 2010–2011 school year, he has been the Endowed Chair in the English Department at Texas State University-San Marcos.


In 1967, Stone published his first novel, A Hall of Mirrors, which won both a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship, and a William Faulkner Foundation Award for best first novel. Set in New Orleans in 1962 and based partly on actual events, the novel depicted a political scene dominated by right-wing racism, but its style was more reminiscent of Beat writers than of earlier social realists: alternating between naturalism and stream of consciousness. It was adapted as a film, WUSA (1970). The novel's success led to a Guggenheim Fellowship and began Stone's career as a professional writer.
In 1971 he traveled to Vietnam as a correspondent for an obscure British journal called "Ink".[13] His time there served as the inspiration for his second novel, Dog Soldiers (1974), which features a journalist smuggling heroin from Vietnam. It shared the 1975 U.S. National Book Award with The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams.[1][14]
Stone's third book, A Flag for Sunrise (1981), was published to unanimous critical praise and moderate commercial success. The story follows a wide cast of characters as their paths intersect in a fictionalized banana republic based on Nicaragua. The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize.[4][2]
In contrast to the grand, somewhat satirical adventure epics Stone is commonly associated with, his next two novels were smaller-scale character studies: the misfortunate tale of a Hollywood movie actress in Children of Light, and an eccentric at the midst of a circumnavigation race in Outerbridge Reach (based loosely on the story of Donald Crowhurst), published in 1986 and 1992 respectively. The latter was a finalist for the National Book Award for 1992.[15]
Bear and His Daughter, published in 1997, is a short story collection that lost the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction to American Pastoral by Phillip Roth.[3] He returned to describing social turbulence with Damascus Gate (1998), about a man with messianic delusions caught up in a terrorist plot in Jerusalem. The novel was a finalist for the National Book Award for 1998.[16]


Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties (2007) is Stone's memoir discussing his experiences in the 1960s "counterculture". The autobiographical work begins with his days in the Navy and ends with his days as a correspondent in Vietnam. Besides Ken Kesey, this work features Stone's insights on Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac from his time spent traveling with them.[17]


Monday, December 16, 2013

Capitoline Museums, Dying Gaul - il Galata Morente (manortiz)

This is on loan at present to the National Gallery Of Art in Washington D.C.
Several posts below this one is another about The Dying Gaul.

2d train.MOV Toy Trains at the US Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. 20...

Rachel made this and the one below 4 years ago.

3d train.MOV U.S. Botanic Gardens Washington DC The Caterpillar Train 2...

US Botanic Garden Wows Holiday Visitors 2013

Christmas Trains in Season's Greenings at United States Botanic Garden W...

These are the 2013 trains in action at the U.S. Botanic Gardens in Washington D.C.

The Dying Gaul At The National Gallery Of Art Washington D.C.

This is The Dying Gaul now on view at the National Gallery Of Art in Washington D.C.
Click on the picture to enlarge it.
We went to see this yesterday. So did many other people.

Tuba Skinny Most Recent

Click on the link above. This is one of the very best videos of the band and includes some great camera work of them and also New Orleans.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sample Some Big Joe Williams
Click on the link above to hear a great many samples of Big Joe Williams in action.

Remembering The Cellar Door Nightclub In Washington(Georgetown) D.C.

Fine article in today's Washington Post by Dave McKenna about the old and long departed Cellar Door nightclub that was on M Street in Georgetown,D.C.
Be sure and read the comments at the end of the above article. They are good memories from other people. 
This was a place you could see and hear acts on the way up and on the way down.
In fact I told the guy at the next door Little Tavern who made the 15 cent hamburgers and poured the coffee that he should go there and here the musicians because they were on their way up. No he said they are on their way down.
Acts that I saw there included Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band when they were first starting out around 1972 or 1973. The Cellar Door had a no smoking policy even back then. Jimmy Buffett saw somebody in the audience smoking and announced there would be no smoking.
Someone in the audience yelled back that one of Jimmy's band was smoking right at that moment on stage. It was good for a laugh from everyone.
I saw an ad in the paper that blues man Joe Williams was going to be playing at the Cellar Door. I called over and asked if it was the blues man Big Joe Williams. The guy on the phone didn't know the difference between Joe Williams(the Count Basie jazz singer)and Big Joe Williams the famous Mississippi bluesman. So he just said Yes.
I went over and paid a small entrance fee and it turned out to be Joe Williams the jazz singer. I was hoping to see Big Joe the blues singer. This was in 1968 or 1969 and since I liked jazz also I decided to stick around. The amazing thing was the audience was only about 12 people. And they were all older black couples.
Joe Williams just told everyone to move down front and he proceded to give a great perfomance.

On my way home that night around midnight cutting through Rose Park to get to P Street some young kids started throwing empty coke bottles at me. I did not get hit but I got out of there fast.
Miles Davis played a full week at The Cellar Door in 1969 or so. I went with two or three other guys.
Davis would turn his back to the audience and play a note or two and walk of the stage and let his band do the rest.
One of the guys I was with said he was going to talk to Miles. I tried to tell him that it was not a good idea. He came back stunned. I did not ask him what Miles said to him but whatever it was left him shattered.
Dr. Hook played The Cellar Door and I went to see them. But my friend George Cummings was no longer with the band. He had left after he got sick with bronchitis and the manager of the band would not let him have some time off.
I stuck around and listened to the band anyway and went back in the dressing room between sets to visit with them. Billy Francis(the bass player)was a nice friendly guy and told me what happened to George. and why he wasn't there.
That is Billy Francis in the middle on the bottom row. He passed away a few years ago.
George Cummings is the fellow on the far right on the bottom row. He is still very much alive and growing veggies in his garden. And still playing music.
The guy with the patch over his eye is Ray Sawyer. He is still around with a head full of long white hair now. The guy on the far right top row is Dennis. He moved to England some years ago.

Monday, December 2, 2013