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Gill and Laughlin on Video, Joking and Talking About "The New Yawper" and More

Filed under: Looked Into   Tagged: , , , , ,

I get so many good newsletters and subscriptions—Manhattan User’s Guide, Today’s Inspiration, Very Short List, the Nextbook Daily Digest, The New-York Ghost, the Little Friends of Printmaking bulletin, &c., &c.—that I can’t look at all of them every day. But today I happened to open a new one, which I don’t remember signing up for but am enjoying anyway, called Get Trio, and found this rare treat (boldface mine):
If you went to the Jack Spade website, you’d expect to find snappy bags and leather accessories for men. And indeed you’ll find those. But click on ‘Happenings’ and you’ll find some things you simply could never have predicted to find.

The most remarkable of these is the reminiscences on video from James Laughlin (1914-1997), poet, as well as publisher of New Directions. Among its many distinctions, New Directions was the first American publisher of Nabokov. Seated with Laughlin is his old friend Brendan Gill of the New Yorker (his birth and death years happen to match Laughlin’s), and the two reminisce about the authors they worked with and befriended.

It’s just two old fellows talking, but in our YouTube world of cats playing the piano, we find the talk absolutely spellbinding. Watch it here.
Man, it’s good. Just go. And buy The Way It Wasn’t, which the Spade site is presenting along with the video. It’s designed by the gifted Rodrigo Corral, is full of fascinating photos and beautiful typography, and it’ll make your whole life (not to mention Laughlin’s) feel like a poem.


Dear Emily,

As the producer/director of the Gill/Laughlin documentary( still in progress), I am delighted by the warmth of your praise.

In any event, my most finished film will be on PBS/American Masters- Clint Eastwood presents- TONY BENNETT: THE MUSIC NEVER ENDS - Airdate - Sept 12 PBS nationwide.

Bruce Ricker

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