To the student of poetry (we are all students of poetry) I say: when you sit down to write a poem, you must try to write something you have never heard before, or better yet something no one has ever heard. I say this too to the painter, the philosopher, to the musician—paint what you have never seen before, think what has never been thought, compose a sound never heard until now—to all those whose creativity keeps humanity from falling into the abyss. The Abyss in which banality buries us alive.

                                                                                                           —Julian Beck

To my sensibility, Julian Beck's chief artistic power is one that he never bothers to mention—he simply has it in an unproblematic way and therefore does not think of it or talk it but just does it: this is the making of a whole by infallibly right arrangement, without plan or study, but by both unspoiled intuition and sure habit. “Not here but here; and not so much but so much.” That it will make sense is never a problem, it always makes sense.

—Paul Goodman


Julian Beck


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