AJ Logo
AJ HOME AJ BLOGS

STRAIGHT UP | Jan Herman
Arts, media & culture news with 'tude



    ABOUT JAN HERMAN

    Another strange fact: My correspondence with writers and poets of the Beat, post-Beat and Fluxus periods, along with other literary artifacts, was acquired by Northwestern University Library. In case you're interested, the collection is described in the library's cleverly named Jan Herman Archive.

    My literary taste runs to Joseph Conrad, William S. Burroughs and Nelson Algren among the dead, Richard Ford, Michel Houellebecq and Richard Russo among the living.

    As a former theater reviewer, I've lost my taste for most theater these days. As the biographer of one of Hollywood's great directors, I've been spoiled by his movies. As a former film reviewer, I don't know why most of today's film critics even bother.

    Favorite literary critic? Clive James. Favorite music critic? Martin Bernheimer. Favorite television critic? John Leonard.

STRAIGHT UP

STRAIGHT UP home

ABOUT STRAIGHT UP
The agenda is just what it says: arts, media & culture delivered with attitude. Or as Rock Hudson once said: "Man is the only animal clever enough to build the Empire State Building and stupid enough to jump off it."
More


ABOUT JAN HERMAN
When not listening to Bach or Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdes, or dancing to salsa, I like to play jazz piano -- but only in the privacy of my own mind.
More


BOOKS 'n' STUFF
I'm the author of "A Talent for Trouble," the biography of Hollywood director William Wyler. Putnam published it in hardcover. It is now in paperback (Da Capo Press).
More

Write Me:


Search SU

MY CHECKERED CAREER

A BRIEF SURVEY
Writing of mine has appeared in "little magazines," among them VDRSVP, Ricochet, Unmuzzled Ox and John Bryan's Notes From Underground, as well as in Partisan Review, The New York Times Book Review, Trans-Atlantik and The Journal of Film History.
More

HERMAN ELSEWHERE

LAUREN BACALL, STILL SALTY AT 80
When Lauren Bacall writes that her singing voice ranges "somewhere between B minus sharp and outer space," she's being candid and funny. It's not every stage star with two Tony Awards for best actress in a musical whose vocal talent offers so little promise. (OK, Harvey Fierstein excepted.) Still less would one admit it. More

THE STARS ACCORDING TO BOGDANOVICH
Peter Bogdanovich's superb collection of movie-star profiles and interviews -- a sequel to Who the Devil Made It, his interviews of top film directors -- begins with an affectionate tale about Orson Welles that reminds us just how intimate the author's connection to Hollywood's greatest has been. But contrary to what we've come to expect from dime-a-dozen celebrities and celebrity interviews not worth two cents, the tale avoids bromidic egotism and journalistic platitudes. More

"HERMAN WOUK'S LATEST"
It's hard to say which comes off worse in Herman Wouk's latest novel, his first in a decade: the U.S. Congress or the American press. "A Hole in Texas" offers the choice between two emblematic stereotypes: a red-faced opportunist who heads the House Armed Services Committee and a mustachioed investigative reporter for the Washington Post.
More

"SAMMY'S WHITE DREAMS"
Four decades ago Lenny Bruce sentenced Sammy Davis Jr. to "30 years in Biloxi," stripping him of "his Jewish star" and "his religious statue of Elizabeth Taylor." Now we have two new biographies of Davis that spring him from ridicule, if not from doubts about his legacy, and restore a measure of dignity to a black entertainer whose huge fame and success never overcame his devout wish—indeed his lifelong effort—to be white. More

"TAKING ON THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIC"
Here's something I wrote for the highbrows, who will probably disagree: "The Vienna Philharmonic's discriminatory practices against women and people of color cast such a pall over its considerable artistic achievement that the orchestra has turned out to be the shame, not the pride, of Western civilization.
More

KITTY KELLEY, SINATRA & ME
For a professional snoop, Kitty Kelley harbors a remarkably decorous feeling about her work. The least suggestion that she takes a certain pleasure in exposing the sexual peccadillos of her high and mighty targets brings an intense glare to her china-blue eyes. More

SITES TO SEE


WITH MORE TO COME ...

Air America Radio
Andante
Antiwar.com

Arts & Letters Daily
Beatrice
because they are dead
Bill Reed
Blogcritics
Booknotes (transcripts)
Bright Lights Film Journal
C-SPAN
Center for Cooperative Research
Consortium News

Cost of War in Iraq
Cubarte: Portal of Cuban culture
Democracy Now!
Doug Ireland
Ehrensteinland
Film Threat
Good Reads

Greg Palast
International Relations Center
Henry Kisor
Jacketmagazine
James Wolcott
Lannan Foundation
Low Culture
Metacritic
Museum of Television & Radio
Nat. Arts Journalism Program 
Noam Chomsky
Open City 
Postclassic Radio

radio weisblogg

Rain Taxi

Rhizome
Rwanda Project
Seeing Black
The 3rd Page
Times Square Cam
Wading in the Velvet Sea
Walking Man
Wm. Osborne & Abbie Conant


OTHER AJ BLOGS
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City

Terry Teachout writes about the arts in New York City. It's a diary of his life as a working critic, about all the arts, not just one or two. By writing each day about my own experiences as a consumer and critic, Terry hopes to create a meeting place in cyberspace for arts lovers who are curious, adventurous, and unafraid of the unfamiliar.
Go To Blog

ARTFUL MANAGER
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture

For four decades now, nonprofit arts and culture organizations have focused on a corporate ideal. Using the mantras of for-profit America—effectiveness, efficiency, professionalism, best practices, change management, accountability—a generation of arts leaders has struggled to graft business basics onto the world of creative expression. But what if, all along the way, we fundamentally misunderstood what it meant to be run "like a business"?
Go To Blog

SEEING THINGS
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had three particular passions: children, especially pre-literate children (the subset of human society containing the densest population of poets); how people say what they say and the multiple (often ambiguous) meanings that lie behind the words; and looking at things. These loves have spawned my work: writing books for the very young; oral history projects; writing about dance and the visual and decorative arts. Electronic publication opens new horizons for writing. That’s why I’m here.
Go To Blog

Home | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©
2002 ArtsJournal. All Rights Reserved