Browse By

Tag Archives: Essay

Fred Astaire and the Blackface Talking

One might argue that blackface performances of the thirties and forties (and earlier) are so far in the past and such a product of their time as to be beyond judgment, but I’d disagree. I’d rather assessments of artists be made with knowledge of their warts and all.

From the Archive: “A Visit to Ezra Pound in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, 1948,” by John Berryman

He sank down and back then, buttoning a shirt he had thrust on, arranging objects from his pockets on the windowsill beside him, and began to eat a roll, after offering me one. Later when he went away to get some British illustrated papers about the removal of Yeats’s body to Ireland to show me, he brought back bananas, was very surprised when I didn’t want one, and rapidly ate both.