Huncke Blog

100 Years & 1 Week—Herbert Huncke Centennial

Poet & musician Leslie Winer is currently recording a series of Huncke stories, notebook entries & letters put to some new music co-written with & produced by Christophe Van Huffel—to be released on vinyl 2015.  The first track ‘Cuba’ will drop at The Huncke Centennial Celebration at The Beat Museum tomorrow night in San Francisco—courtesy of Tate Swindell / Unerequited Records.  Come & have a listen if you’re in the area.  Brilliant list of people paying tribute to Huncke.  100 years young.  Shocking.

 


Please help us here at HunckeTeaCompany to celebrate Huncke’s Centennial Year by possibly thinking about bookmarking & using our Amazon portal for any of your purchases on Amazon.  Books & Otherwise.  Proceeds go toward the archiving & digitisation of Huncke’s notebooks, correspondence & audio recordings—& the publishing of previously unpublished & out-of-print stories in both hard copy & eBook formats.  Let’s keep Huncke’s legacy alive in this, his 100th year.  Thanks in advance.

 

We’ve been busy digitising a series of cassettes, informal conversations with HH from over the years.  Some of these will go up soon over at our Soundcloud account.   We are also preparing a series of podcasts—conversations Now with & about people who knew Huncke.  We're hoping to have a conversation with Stewart Meyer—author of 'The Lotus Crew', chronicler of Burroughs & friend of Huncke's—for our first podcast.  Stay tuned. 

 

Simply click on the image or link (above) to go through our Huncke Amazon Portal & then bookmark us when you are there.  Use this link for all your Amazon purchases & they will give us a micro payment for every purchase made through this link—at no cost to you.  Basically:  free money from Amazon for preserving Huncke archives.  Win / Win.  

 

You can also help by using our Huncke Abe Books affiliate link when you buy rare or out-of-print books from independent booksellers or donate directly with Paypal.  Even 5 bucks helps.  If you make a donation we’ll send you a ‘Huncke Business’ card in the post from Huncke Tea Company headquarters here in France.  Just email us your address etc & we’ll send one out.  ‘Tea they called it.’

 

 

Big donations get one of the new stories.  If you’re good.  Maybe.  Bilingual editions from Les Editions Derrière la Salles de Bains . . .

(email your postal details to huncketeacompany@gmail.com & something will be posted from France, eventually … )

Once upon a time, when I was around 20 or thereabouts & living near Grammercy Park,  Herbert came over for a visit.  It was quite near his methadone pickup at the time so he would drop by twice a week or so.  I had to run out to get some cigarettes & told Herbert I’d be right back.  He started to slowly shake his head in that slow exaggerated sad way that he had: no, no, no.  “Leslie, have I taught you… Nothing?  You can’t leeeeeeeeeaaaave me here.  I’ll steal everything the minute you’re gone.”  I pulled on my new-to-me overcoat which he'd brought over earlier.  “Like a glove!” he said as we descended the staircase.  “That’s merino wool you know.”  

When I first met Herbert in the late '70s I thought of him as old.  Already.  He was just a couple of years older than I find myself here & now.  Across the wounded galaxies we intersect.  —LW January 16, 2015 près de Vigny, France.

 


 


 
 
 

FagRag #42/43 Herbert Huncke, John Wieners

32p. folded tabloid newspaper, photos, art, articles, poetry, services, mildly worn and toned newsprint. Includes an interview with Herbert Huncke, Shively defending prostitution, poetry by John Wieners.


Allen Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke - SFSU 1967

Once again, mirrored from our (Gallimaufrey !) friends at The Allen Ginsberg Project :

[ Herbert Huncke  and  Allen Ginsberg -  together on East 10th Street, New York City,  three years later, 1970 - Photograph by  Ann Charters ]    

[Herbert Huncke and Allen Ginsberg - together on East 10th Street, New York City,  three years later, 1970 - Photograph by Ann Charters
 

From the invaluable trove at San Francisco State University's Poetry Center Digital Archive -  Allen Ginsberg and Herbert Huncke reading on February 7, 1967

This historic event can be heard in its entirety here

Mark Linenthal (of SFSU) begins by noting upcoming events and a visit to the campus by film-maker Stan Brakhage.
He then turns to the business of the evening, introducing Herbert Huncke and Allen Ginsberg.

ML: "I want to welcome  Herbert Huncke and Allen Ginsberg to the Poetry Center and to the campus of San Francisco State College. Allen is going to read first and then we'll have a break and everybody can stand up and stretch and we can open the doors  (oh, the doors are open!), everyone can stand up and stretch, and then Herbert will read.

As most of you know Mr Herbert Huncke is an old friend of Allen's, it's appropriate then to have Allen introduce him to you. Allen Ginsberg needs no introduction but I would like to call attention to his extreme importance. I want to suggest what I think his role has been in changing the way in which we experience our experience, that is, in actually changing us." 

AG: And now I want to introduce someone who I think is a major American prose writer. His work will be published, probably later this year, by Grove Press [editorial note - sadly, this was not to be], an older fellow, who was my teacher and guru, both in language and perception, Mr Herbert Huncke . . .  

HH: I'm afraid my voice will sound pale next to Allen's, he's always so vibrant, you know. As a sort of introduction, I'll read "Song of Self" - "Herbert E Huncke. My name - although I'm generally known as Huncke and by a few as Herbert and in the past as Herbie…"…"It wasn't long after I began travelling and ceased to call Chicago my home." - 

 

In 'The Thief's Journal', Genet says there are very few people who have earned the right to think.  Huncke had adventures and misadventures that were not available to middle-class, comparatively wealthy college people like Kerouac and me:  "Some write home to the old folks for coin.  That's their ace in the hole."  Huncke had extraordinary experiences that were quite genuine.  He isn't a type you find anymore.
— William S. Burroughs (foreword to 'The Herbert Huncke Reader')
 
 


Bilingual Editions from Les Editions Derrière la Salle de Bains

New Orleans, 1938 —  Herbert Huncke    English/French edition .    Les premières lignes :  « Je me souviens d’une nuit à la Nouvelle-Orléans sur St. Charles Street – à marcher. Il avait plu – les rues scintillaient – la nuit se reflétait dans les flaques d’eau. Les bruits de gouttes de pluie qui tombaient et éclaboussaient les feuilles de magnolias. Les rues étaient désertes – à peine une automobile qui passait. Je traversais une ruelle quand je jetai un coup d’œil et vis un homme s’approcher. Il faisait ma taille. Robuste et trapu, à la limite d’être gros – portait un pantalon noir et une chemise blanche dont les trois premiers boutons étaient ouverts – révélant une épaisse toison de poils noirs. Il avait le teint basané. Ses yeux étaient petits et marron foncé – ses cheveux noirs et gras, peignés en arrière. Ses mains étaient dans ses poches – une cigarette pendait du coin de sa bouche. En se penchant légèrement vers moi, il me demanda une allumette. »

New Orleans, 1938 — Herbert Huncke

English/French edition.  

Les premières lignes :

« Je me souviens d’une nuit à la Nouvelle-Orléans sur St. Charles Street – à marcher. Il avait plu – les rues scintillaient – la nuit se reflétait dans les flaques d’eau. Les bruits de gouttes de pluie qui tombaient et éclaboussaient les feuilles de magnolias. Les rues étaient désertes – à peine une automobile qui passait. Je traversais une ruelle quand je jetai un coup d’œil et vis un homme s’approcher. Il faisait ma taille. Robuste et trapu, à la limite d’être gros – portait un pantalon noir et une chemise blanche dont les trois premiers boutons étaient ouverts – révélant une épaisse toison de poils noirs. Il avait le teint basané. Ses yeux étaient petits et marron foncé – ses cheveux noirs et gras, peignés en arrière. Ses mains étaient dans ses poches – une cigarette pendait du coin de sa bouche. En se penchant légèrement vers moi, il me demanda une allumette. »

In Naked Lunch  — William S. Burroughs   Premières lignes :  In Naked Lunch I wrote: “I am not an entertainer“. I was wrong. That was before I started giving public readings. As soon as anyone gets up in front of an audience to read his works, he becomes a performer and entertainer. I immediately discovered that only a very small percentage of my work is suitable for public readings, perhaps one percent.  Dans Le festin nu j’ai écrit : « Je ne suis pas un amuseur ». J’avais tort. C’était avant que je ne commence les lectures publiques. Du moment où on se lève devant un auditoire pour lire ses écrits, on devient un homme de spectacle, un amuseur. Je me suis tout de suite rendu compte que seul un très faible pourcentage de mon travail est propice aux lectures publiques, peut-être un pour cent.   

In Naked Lunch — William S. Burroughs

Premières lignes :

In Naked Lunch I wrote: “I am not an entertainer“. I was wrong. That was before I started giving public readings. As soon as anyone gets up in front of an audience to read his works, he becomes a performer and entertainer. I immediately discovered that only a very small percentage of my work is suitable for public readings, perhaps one percent.

Dans Le festin nu j’ai écrit : « Je ne suis pas un amuseur ». J’avais tort. C’était avant que je ne commence les lectures publiques. Du moment où on se lève devant un auditoire pour lire ses écrits, on devient un homme de spectacle, un amuseur. Je me suis tout de suite rendu compte que seul un très faible pourcentage de mon travail est propice aux lectures publiques, peut-être un pour cent.

 

Bilingual edition of Huncke's 'New Orleans, 1938 published

'New Orleans, 1938' & 'Nouvelle-Orléans'—1st bilingual (American / French) edition of Huncke's beautiful short story 'New Orleans, 1938' from Les Editions Derrière la Salle de Bains.

« Je me souviens d’une nuit à la Nouvelle-Orléans sur St. Charles Street – à marcher. Il avait plu – les rues scintillaient – la nuit se reflétait dans les flaques d’eau. Les bruits de gouttes de pluie qui tombaient et éclaboussaient les feuilles de magnolias. Les rues étaient désertes – à peine une automobile qui passait. Je traversais une ruelle quand je jetai un coup d’œil et vis un homme s’approcher. Il faisait ma taille. Robuste et trapu, à la limite d’être gros – portait un pantalon noir et une chemise blanche dont les trois premiers boutons étaient ouverts – révélant une épaisse toison de poils noirs. Il avait le teint basané. Ses yeux étaient petits et marron foncé – ses cheveux noirs et gras, peignés en arrière. Ses mains étaient dans ses poches – une cigarette pendait du coin de sa bouche. En se penchant légèrement vers moi, il me demanda une allumette. »