photo courtesy of Abraham Ravett (click here to see more)
Charles Reznikoff reads from Holocaust, New York City, December 21, 1975
The audio recording and accompanying photographs were made on December 21, 1975 in Charles Reznikoff's NYC apartment. I had just graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and was working on my first, autobiographical, diary film, Thirty Years Later, completed in 1978.
Published in 1975 by Black Sparrow Press, Holocaust profoundly resonated with me during the process of gathering material for the above-mentioned film project. Without a pre-conceived idea as to how I would shape the film, my hope was that Mr. Reznikoff's reading could be part of the sound track.
Mr. Reznikoff's West End apartment was located within a high-rise apartment complex reminiscent of where I grew up during my teens in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, N.Y. He was very kind and gracious to a rather nervous young filmmaker fumbling with his Nagra tape recorder and Sennheiser microphone who hoped that everything would work as planned.
Subsequent to the above session, I received permission from Black Sparrow Press as well as from Mr. Reznikoff to include the reading in the film project.
I've held on to this audio recording for many years with the thought of producing a cd that could be made available to the public. Through protracted negotiations with Black Sparrow Press, David R. Godine the current publisher of Holocaust and most recently, with the Reznikoff estate, I was given permission to make this recording available for non-commercial, educational purposes only.
The b/w photographs were made with a medium format, Minolta Autocord camera. The blue toned, 35mm slides were the result of using tungsten rated film during daylight. The combined images record a momentary interaction between this writer and a great poet who was to pass away just a few months later.
Abraham Ravett, Florence, MA, December 16, 2009
- audio check (0:32): MP3
- Research 1 (take 1) (1:49): MP3
- Research 1 (take 2) (1:36): MP3
- Ghettos 8 (1:13): MP3
- Massacres 4 (2:03): MP3
- Massacres 4 (end) (0:29): MP3
- Massacres 5 (take 1) (0:46): MP3
- Massacres 5 (take 2) (0:41): MP3
- Work Camps 1 (1:10): MP3
- Gas Chambers and Gas Trucks 1 (9:15): MP3
- Gas Chambers and Gas Trucks 1, strophe 9 (retake) (0:53): MP3
- from Work Camps 3, final (5th) strophe (1:19): MP3
- Children 2 (0:52): MP3
- Children 3 (1:15): MP3
- Work Camps 6 (2:26): MP3
- Work Camps 8 (1:59): MP3
- Entertainment 1 (0:56): MP3
- Mass Graves 5 (2:40): MP3
These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the author. © 2010 the estate of Charles Reznikoff. Used with permission of the Reznikoff estate and Abraham Ravett. Distributed by PennSound.