Gorf: A Play by Michael McClure. Michael McClure.
Gorf: A Play by Michael McClure
Gorf: A Play by Michael McClure

Gorf: A Play by Michael McClure

New York, NY: New Directions, 1976. First Edition. Softcover. "Man's capacity for renewal and rebirth is tied to his ability to remain in touch with his child self. From here he can re-experience his sense of animal optimism, his ability to transform at will, his pleasure in free floating as well as free falling. This is the consciousness from which Michael McClure has written 'Gorf' and from which I directed it. / Followers of McClure's theater will find the same wild humor and consciousness of American forms that were displayed in his earlier 'Gargoyle Cartoons,' but with new dimensions of plot and characterization. / 'Gorf' is a comic-heroic return of drama to its origins in the epic mysteries." Sporting the rather un-PC subtitle/alternate title of "Gorf and the Blind Dyke," "Gorf" is--by all sane estimations--a deeply unusual publication...its isomeric weirdness of special note even in an oeuvre as expansive as the late Michael McClure's (1932-2020). An oeuvre, Your Devoted Assistant Curator reminds you, that saw Michael McClure -- the "Prince of San Francisco" -- become "The Grandmaster of Grunt Poetics" with 1964's "Ghost Tantras" (and the infamous footage of the poet reading to disgruntled lions at the San Francisco Zoo). Buoyed, perhaps, by the irreverent intensity of previously successful works like "The Beard" (1965), McClure proceeded with fearless abandon, producing--ten years later--a work which features "...a flying cock and balls, a blind motorcycle Lesbian, a pair of dancing TV sets, a hard-hat laborer and his wife, shepherds, motorcycle outlaws, naked tap-dancing stars, a fairy girl, and a giant hairy elephant's hindquarters." To this surrealist cacophony we add "a band of cherubs playing a range of styles from Puccini to Spike Jones--and throw them in a plot that echoes everything from 'Oedipus at Colonus' to 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'" We really don't know what to make of this--and, from the evident lack of literary-critical writing by Beat scholars on the present work, it seems like the bulk of Beat enthusiasts and scholars don't know what to make of it either. In that challenge is an opportunity, however, and perhaps a Beat scholarly Lancelot will arise and make palatable sense of this work for the rest of us. Even if that's not your goal, the work--because of its unbridled, Dadaist, schizophrenic intensity--is hilarious...worth the read, even if conducted from a comic-ironic distance. [ISBN: 0-8112-0612-3]. Trade-format softcover: the First Edition, with no reference to further printings at copyright page. Book in very fine condition with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges; slightest rubbing & age-typical yellowing along fine-edges. Very Fine. [Item #4952]

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