The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were an Item #100


Judith Malina and Julian Beck

7 comments :

jim smith said...

Looks like they were coming out of court. They got arrested at least once for getting nekkid in an event at their "Living Theater", avant garde theatre in the Village. Julian took pacifism a little too far. Though it caused him great psychic pain he once allowed Judith to be beaten and raped without moving violently to defend her. It was the supreme test of his faith. Oh, come on already!

Late in life, after Judith's death (from natural causes), he did a movie or two. "Poltergeist II" was one of them. He was pretty good, actually.

Peter Nellhaus said...

I wondered when this photo was taken. I had been personally acquainted with the Becks, They had worked with my father when they performed a Brecht play my father translated. I last saw them when they returned to the U.S. in 1969, where they performed two of their plays in Boulder, CO.

Timmy said...

There is far too little meat on that right calf...

MichaelRyerson said...

Beck actually preceded his wife in death. In fact, I believe she's still with us, having acted as recently as 2006 (Sopranos).

Craig H said...

Judith Malina is alive. Her second husband Hannon died just a couple years ago tragically young. The Living Theatre has a new space in NYC and the work goes on. In the summer they go to Italy and perform there.

Tom Sutpen said...

This was taken in 1964, when they were both hauled in by the City of New York on a bogus tax-related charge. It was one of many harassment pinches they had to endure, but on this one they actually ended up doing a marginal stretch as guests of the county.

Malina's leg trouble stemmed from an unrelated Living Theater accident.

Operator_99 said...

I saw three of their productions in the early 60's, and man, they were intense, particularly Jack Gelber's The Connection and The Brig. The theater was on 14th street and 6th if I remember correctly, but was shut down in 63 by the I.R.S.