By Lisa Jarnot
This definitive biography offers a super account of the existence and paintings of Robert Duncan (1919–1988), one in every of America’s nice postwar poets. Lisa Jarnot takes us from Duncan’s beginning in Oakland, California, via his youth in an eccentrically Theosophist loved ones, to his existence in San Francisco as an brazenly homosexual guy who grew to become an inspirational determine for the numerous poets and painters who accrued round him. Weaving jointly quotations from Duncan’s notebooks and interviews with those that knew him, Jarnot vividly describes his existence at the West Coast and in big apple urban and his encounters with luminaries similar to Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Tennessee Williams, James Baldwin, Paul Goodman, Michael McClure, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Denise Levertov, Robert Creeley, and Charles Olson.
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Additional info for Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus: A Biography
10 Helen Adam, who used to be equally proud of the reception of her Halloween weekend presentation of San Francisco’s Burning, prepared a moment interpreting of the play in early December and likewise made plans for a bigger construction of the paintings at James Broughton’s Poet’s Theatre. fearful approximately this collaboration among his outdated associates, Duncan wrote to Adam, complimenting her at the functionality at Borregaard’s Museum yet expressing wariness of her plans to paintings with Broughton and Kermit Sheets: The functionality, Helen, used to be the genuine magic of theater. i'm the extra savagely against the belief of a creation that may lack the knowledge, the eloquent gesture you've got thruout. Your song is a vital part of the paintings. it's seed, root and branching flower of the encouraged construction: i'm critical in my experience of its being part of the divine ask yourself. That this kind of daemonic present is at work . . . is a truly sacred thing—I have obvious the daemon, i don't are looking to see the impersonation. eleven The protest was once registered via Adam, however the trap of a bigger staging of her play prevailed, and the Playhouse creation came about on the finish of 1961. through November 1960, Duncan and Jess had resolved springtime tensions, and so they deliberate a Thanksgiving party that integrated Blaser and Jim Felts, Pat and Helen Adam, Ida Hodes, and Hilde and David Burton. sooner than the vacation, they made a quick journey to Soquel to go to Minnehaha, who had suffered a middle assault in early October. In a confluence of occasions back on the topic of Duncan’s experience of “the mother,” on December 21, 1960, the iciness solstice, within the top of his correspondence with H. D. , his adoptive mom died on the age of seventy-three. Duncan’s sister Barbara prepared for his or her mother’s ashes to be interred beside the urns of Edwin Symmes and Lewis Burtch on the Chapel of the Chimes Mausoleum in Oakland. whilst Duncan and Jess spent Christmas day with Pat and Helen Adam, Duncan didn't disclose his mother’s loss of life. He wrote to H. D. in January that he had but to totally adventure Minnehaha’s absence: i used to be a established, literally—and that still capability expressively too; but I can’t find the loss. there has been instantly the residue of a few me in early life who desired to continue her as person—and in that me a child’s fast “coming to grief,” “being left at the back of. ” yet in my grownup years there’s continually been individually distance among us of brain, of aesthetic, of exact geography—and the space of “death” turns out so allied that it's tough to recollect i can't, haven't to, write a letter. 12 asserting goodbye to the headstrong girl who had ushered him via formative years and have been crucial confidante of his overdue adolescent years, he penned “Two Presentations”: you're long gone and that i ship as I used to with the salutation expensive mom the start of a letter as though it may possibly succeed in you. but expensive mom may possibly trap at my middle to assert —and did whilst i used to be a toddler, as you currently are a toddler between colours— as though the phrases betrayd a painful nearness and separation.