Thursday, May 02, 2013

Ben Pleasants, RIP

Sadly, longtime KHC attendee Ben Pleasants passed away on April 18, in Crescent City, CA, of a heart attack.

From the Los Angeles Times's obit:

"Born Aug. 6, 1940, in Weehawken, N.J., [Ben] Pleasants graduated from Hofstra University on New York's Long Island in 1962 and within a few years enrolled in graduate English courses at UCLA.

Beginning in the mid-1960s he wrote for the
Los Angeles Free Press and regularly contributed book and theater reviews to The Times from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s. He reviewed Bukowski's poetry in The Times at a time when few mainstream publications cast their eye on the gritty work, and in 2004 published Visceral Bukowski: Inside the Sniper Landscape of L.A. Writers, a memoir that had originally been intended as a biography. The book became controversial for Pleasants' assertions that Bukowski harbored Nazi sympathies.

Decades after Fante wrote Ask the Dust in the 1930s, Pleasants helped revive interest in the obscure Depression-era novel set in Los Angeles by urging its reissue by Black Sparrow Press in 1979 and paving the way for its eventual cult status.

Pleasants also became a playwright, penning The Hemingway/Dos Passos Wars and Contentious Minds: The Mary McCarthy/Lillian Hellman Affair, among other plays.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need more of a communitaran Libertarian approach to oppose Obama Care. The typical right by destroying it doesn't deal with an alternative for the uninsured which isn't apart of the state system. Ted Cruz is not going to get rid of people's desire for Obama care. There needs to be more communitarian alternatives besides a handful of charity groups that will help the uninsuranced.