Professor Irwin Corey Accepts the National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon
Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York Thursday, April 18, 1974
Ralph Ellison: The jury has determined to divide the prize between two writers.
To Thomas Pynchon, for
which bridges the gap between two cultures and puts the world of manipulation
and paranoia within the perspectives of history. To Isaac Bashevis Singer
A Crown of Feathers
and a life-time of distinguished work revealing a skeptical, philosophical and
mischievous obsession with human and demonic character. I present this not to
Mr. Singer, but to Mr. Pynchon.
Professor Irwin Corey: However I accept this financial stipulation ah stipend in behalf of Richard Python for the great contribution which to quote from some of the missiles which he has contributed Today we must all be aware that protocol takes precedence over procedure. However you say WHAT THE what does this mean in relation to the tabulation whereby we must once again realize that the great fiction story is now being rehearsed before our very eyes, in the Nixon administration indicating that only an American writer can receive the award for fiction, unlike Solzinitski whose fiction does not hold water. Comrades friends, we are gathered here not only to accept in behalf of one recluse one who has found that the world in itself which seems to be a time not of the toad to quote Studs TurKAL. And many people ask Who are Studs TurKAL? Its not Who are Studs TurKAL? its Who AM Studs TurKAL? This in itself is an edifice of the great glory that has gone beyond, and the intuitive feeling of the American people, based on the assumption that the intelligence not only as Mencken once said, He who underestimates the American pubic public, will not go broke. This is merely a small indication of this vast throng gathered here to once again behold and to perceive that which has gone behind and to that which might go forward into the future weve got to hurdle these obstacles. This is the MAIN deterrent upon which we have gathered our strength and all the others who say, What the hell did that get? WE DONT KNOW. Weve got to perforce with all the loving boy And as Miller once said in one of his great novels what did the that language is only necessary when communication is endangered. And you sit there bewildered, and Pinter who went further said It is not the lack of communication but fear of communication. THATS WHAT THE GODDAMN THING IS that we fear communication. Oh fortunately the prize has only been given to authors unlike the Academy Award which is given to a female and a male, indicating the derision of the human specie God damn it! But we have no paranoia, and Mr. Pynchon has attained, and has created for himself serenity, and it is only the insanity that has kept him alive in his paranoia. We speak of the organ of the orgasm WHO THE HELL WROTE THIS? And the jury has determined to divide the prize between two writers to Thomas Pynchon for his Gravitys Rainbow. Now Gravitys Rainbow is a token of this mans genius he told me so himself that he could in other words, have been more specific, but rather than to allude the mundane, he has come to the conclusion that brevity is the importance of our shallow existence. God damn. Ladies and Gentlemen. To the distinguished panel on the dais and to the other winners, for poetry and religion and science. The time will come when religion will outlive its usefulness. Marx, Groucho Marx, once said that religion is the opiate of the people. I say that when religion outlives its usefulness, then opium will be human All right However, I want to thank Mr. Guinzburg, Tom Guinzburg of the Viking Press, who has made it possible for you people to be here this evening to enjoy the Friction Citation the Fiction Citation. Gravitys Rainbow a small contribution to a certain degree, since there are over three and a half billion people in the world today. 218 million of them live in the United States which is a very, very small amount compared to those that are dying elsewhere Well, I say that you will be on the road to new horizons, for we who live in a society where sex is a commodity and a politician can become a TV personality, its not easy to conform if you have any morality I said that myself many years ago But I do want to thank the bureau I mean the committee, the organization for the $10,000 theyve given out tonight they made over $400,000 and I think that I have another appointment. I would like to stay here, but for the sake of brevity I must leave. I do want to thank you, I want to thank Studs TurKAL. I want to thank Mr. Knopf who just ran through the auditorium and I want to thank Breshnev, Kissinger acting President of the Unites States and also want to thank Truman Capote and thank you.
(originally recorded and transcribed by C. B. Coble)
The Worlds Foremost Living Authority
Corey ist nach wie vor aktiv und seine Webseite informiert über seine
Außer der Entgegennahme des National Book Award für
Thomas Pynchon ist noch zu erwähnen, daß Corey zufällig
anwesend war, als Lenny Bruce 1963 von der Bühne weg wegen angeblicher
Obszönität verhaftet wurde. Er übernahm für
Lenny The Show Must Go On.
Corey war für seine spontanen, improvisierten Nonsens-Auftritte
berühmt, so daß man davon ausgehen muß, daß auch seine
Rede zur Pynchon-Preisverleihung auf diese Weise entstanden ist, es also kein
reguläres Manuskript gibt.
The Worlds Foremost Living Authority
Corey ist nach wie vor aktiv und seine Webseite informiert über seine Auftritte.
Außer der Entgegennahme des National Book Award für Thomas Pynchon ist noch zu erwähnen, daß Corey zufällig anwesend war, als Lenny Bruce 1963 von der Bühne weg wegen angeblicher Obszönität verhaftet wurde. Er übernahm für Lenny The Show Must Go On.
Corey war für seine spontanen, improvisierten Nonsens-Auftritte berühmt, so daß man davon ausgehen muß, daß auch seine Rede zur Pynchon-Preisverleihung auf diese Weise entstanden ist, es also kein reguläres Manuskript gibt.
LinksThe Worlds Foremost Living Authority Irwin Coreys Website.
Jim Knipfel: Who Am the Worlds Foremost Authority? A Lesson from Professor Irwin Corey
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