Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mixing Politics and 365Watch #2

Back to the Baconian Mixing Politics and 365Watch

From Natalie Wood to the 1918/19 German Revolution in 4 moves:

  • Late last month I squirmed through the execrable 'Sex and the Single Girl'. My only defence -and it's a flimsy one - is that it starred the divine Natalie Wood.
  • Adapted from the 1962 book of the same name, the film's screenplay was co-written by Joseph Heller who - and I'm guessing wildly here - got the writing gig as he was still at that point considered the literary hot stuff off the back of his 1961 novel, Catch-22.
  • Literary sensation, Catch-22, received its very own film adaption treatment in 1970. I've only ever seen bits and pieces of the film here and there but it's got a stellar cast and I love the book, so it'll probably find its way onto 365Watch at some point. Despite all the right credentials, the film was neither a success with the public nor with the critics. (M*A*S*H stole its thunder that year.) All the more surprising because director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Buck Henry were coming off the back of the success of The Graduate.
  • Mike Nichols was born Michael Igorevitch Peschkowsky in Berlin in 1931. His maternal grandfather was Gustav Landauer, communist anarchist theoretician and a leading participant in the Bavarian Soviet Republic of the Spring of 1919.
  • As mentioned previously, "Sorry, it doesn't get any better."


    mikeovswinton said...

    You are quite right Darren. Once you've hit on a Gustav Landauer connection it doesn't get much better. I take it that you have heard about the passing of the man who did more than most to get Landauer's thought the attention it deserved in the English speaking world; Colin Ward. There is a very good obit at - of all places one might suggest - the Fabian Society.

    mikeovswinton said...

    By the way, I think you'd be pushed to describe Landauer as a Communist Anarchist thinker. He was avowedly of the party of Proudhon. You might want to check out Telos Press's "For Socialism", a translation of Aufruf zum Sozialismus. A sort of selected/collected works in English is on the horizon, too, I'm told.

    Darren said...

    I did read about the recent death of Colin Ward - and John Rety's passing as well - on various websites.

    TBH, the only stuff of Ward's I ever read was the weekly column he wrote for the New Statesman and Society when it was edited by Steve Platt. Any recommendations?

    I'll defer to your greater knowledge about Landauer, and where he stood in the anarchist tradition. My knowledge of him was gleaned from his wiki page and that excellent set of cards that Clifford Harper produced a few years back. ;-)

    Telos Press rings a bell. Was that the same publishers who produced that Pannekoek book back in the seventies? (My secondhand copy is 4000 miles away.)

    Btw, in light of the Landauer comment, are you still claiming the 'ordinary punter' mantle?

    mikeovswinton said...

    Yup, Telos did an English version of Bricanier's Pannekoek anthology. They were clearing their stock a few years back - they are just near Union Square and you might get one cheap.

    Colin Ward's Anarchy in Action is his key work. Influences was rather good in my opinion, though a rather different type of book. The Crisis of Scoialism was a pamphlet he did that I rather enjoyed but I can't remember who published it - think it was from '89 or so.

    "Ordinary punter". In the words of Ron Manager when discussing gary Linker - "mantle with a plomb". (Check it on youtube if you don't remember this Fast Show sketch.)

    stuart said...

    Here, here: Anarchy in Action is great.