Letter from Hollis Frampton to Sally Dixon (2/27/1972)

Eaton, New York February 27, 1972
Dear Sally,
I have yr/ epistle of the 27 Feb.
Thanks for the Lorda. If only that it reminds me of how tiresome & presumptuous I now find most of surrealism. Yes,
I was a boy surrealist; I suppose it was the only thing WOW enough to drill through my petrified pre-adolescent skull,
& so it was amongst the shit that saved my life. We despise most in others those open vices that secretly we hate most in ourselves. But. I'm more interested in Beckett's interest in Buster than I am in Lorca's. Anyhow (said the sage) never write a play that can't be played on the stage. I recall that, whatever rules Gertrude Stein may appear to break, that is one she evidently doesn't, ever.
Ah, the Elgin. Well attended. Excessively HHH rich. So that one did not stay for the Snow the second night (yours truly of course had already seen the whole of La Region Centrale twice, to no one cd/ raise eyebrows.) AudXence generally respectful & attentive. Projection eventually not too bad:
I bore the brunt of getting it straightened out, since I was on first. Stan has gone on to: N. Haven, Hartford, Boston, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Chicago. I took him to Yale so we cd/ have time to talk a bit, having largely missed that opp'ty in NYC where I acted as b’wana while he seemed to be taking cold.
Stan started by eating fire. Actually bought a two-handed broadsword (ostensibly to hack Anthology limb from limb); but then at Elgin, taping X two broadcasts for WBAI, and finally at Millennium show, proceded to kill invisibly, like the sweet old lady with the 8 inch hatpin. Mostly made his points concerning current critical situation (& that's what it is, a crisis within the critical nexus, NOT in film-making, which seems to be doing all right this year!) lucidly,
& with force & wit. The premiere of THE ACT... at Millennium was a very gratifying evening for him, as my beano had been last November: very good feeling in the room, what the Hindus call darshan, or a smattering of it at least.
An attempt was mde to interpret politically Stan's not staying to see La Region. That was on Jonas' part. Brakhage publicly disavowed such interpretation at some length; a few who didn't know why he was doing that got prickly heat from it, but a little talcum in the right places (from me) fixed 'em fast enough.
And I understand that the Elgin affair came within a very few bucks of breaking even. In a smaller & cheaper theater it wd/ have made a few pennies, on pense.
So. You will doubtless hear more of it from Stan.
Thanks to Gaylor's excellent transfer job,
& my own assiduity, the film called SPECIAL EFFECTS is one by which I can set considerable store. & another, called POETIC JUSTICE, did get finished in time. Hence the enclosed. (I'm sending you the text of POETIC JUSTICE under separate cover. Text does not "describe" the film, but is just part of it...you'll see.) Just one more part to do, & hope to finish that during March IF I can get all dozen texts.
Every other ingredient pretty much at the ready. I'm quite pleased with the work thus far. Had not quite expected Stan X wd/ dig the portions he hadn't seen without a struggle; instead he went right to the center of TRAVELLING MATTE, saw that it was the pivot of the series; and then proceded to get a clear view of the structure of the whole work & saw how SPECIAL EFFECTS went into that (while people with, presumably, an easier task were choosing XX TRAV. MATTE as a time to go out for a smoke) , so that there was, in his comprehension, an extended paragraph of perfect delight for me.
Dunno when I can come to Pitts/ again. Must come: more work to do. Autopsies (when my head is clear of Stan's images). More dissection (in Autumn). Synthesizer? Sound work? Animation stand stuff? I'm dead broke, of course,
& holding me breath re Guggenheim (not too optimistically); but there are domino chains working. May go to England in April, with Marion, for a week, to screen there & see Stone Henge. May go to Japan in Spring. May go to W.Coast with Stan (barnstorming)...that cd be amusing, certainly. But all those are bound into iffy conditional chains having to do with money, etc. & must begin worrying also the intricate logistics of possible move to Binghamton for job in fall, therefore out of NYC (bag, baggage, lady, kid, etc.)
Can your museum spare me any xeroxes of Breakage Lectures? I have Chaplin/Eisenstein/Dreyer.
Do you want more Greek beans to plant this year?
How the hell are you? You know, it occurred to me, eventually, that a reason, perhaps the, that SB, HF & Co. began coming apart last time in Pitts/ had to do with being in a god damned goldfish bowl. Okay for Snow, he had to put up with it. But for love, not money, count me out in future. Even: O'Grady is a nice guy and all that, but... well, you get it, don't you? I don't impugn your good intentions, but wd/ like to be able to eat my breakfast with friends ANYWHERE & not have 44 strangers pointing their vidicons down my gullet.
Nacherly my letter to Stan was better than expected. It is my only stock in trade, to confront expectation in that way. I'm glad you liked it.
Love to thee also. And to Mike. Tell him again of my appreciation for Bog People, it's a great marvel.
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