Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Quote of the Day (Folk Music’s Eric Andersen, on How Books Opened ‘Palatial-Sized Windows for Me’)

“I’m pretty much self-taught in the literary jewel-eye of interest department. My dad retired early and went back to college to study under Robert Creeley at the University of Buffalo. My small circle of musical high school friends and I created folk groups with guitars and banjos and harmonies. We also loved poetry. Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and the Beats including Ferlinghetti. I read a lot of Russian literature on my own. Kerouac’s On the Road was a big deal to any kid like me who harbored dreams of travel and adventure. Books gave you the sense there was a big world out there beyond your backyard waiting for you to visit and take part. Books opened giant palatial-sized windows for me. Where most of my high school friends enjoyed armchair lit. adventures, they would eventually finish their education, get jobs, make families, settle down in the straight, striving secure square life with dreams of serenity. I took every word of these books personally and acted on it. I got away. But alone, on the road would soon come the high lonely risk of getting drafted in a bogus war. Later would come Eliot, Kafka, Ibsen, Hamsun, Joyce and Burroughs. And I loved Whitman.”—Singer-songwriter Eric Andersen quoted in John Kruth, “Eric Andersen: Beat Sensibility in a Folksinger Crowd,” PleaseKillMe blog, Apr. 20, 2021

A documentary about Andersen, “The Songpoet,” will play on PBS’ “All Arts” station this week. I have not previously listened to his music, but based on the interview in the link above, maybe I should pay more attention. In any event, I will try to catch this show.

(The image accompanying this post, of Andersen on Apr. 20, 2006, came from Infodek at English Wikipedia.)

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