Saturday, July 12, 2008


Restless night, woke up several times. Decided to do an alphabet list that I figured would be particularly difficult, and it was.

What I chose was works of art I dig that have three word titles with the second word being “and” or an ampersand—the symbol for “and” (“&”).

It was fun, though I’m still missing a bunch.

BODY AND SOUL (both the song—especially Lester Young’s version—and the John Garfield movie)
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT (Dostoevsky’s novel)
DINNER AND NIGHTMARES (Diane di Prima’s first real book, poems and prose that capture the 1950’s Beat bohemian zeitgeist better than anything of that period to my mind) and DAVID AND LISA (the early ‘60s independent movie)
EZRA AND AGNES (Ed Cox’s poem about his parents) (all I could think of at first was ELVIS AND ME, the ‘80s TV movie based on Priscilla’s book, but I can’t remember whether I even liked it or not)
FRANNY AND ZOOEY (the J. D. Salinger book)
GUYS AND DOLLS (the movie version of the musical, with Brando and Sinatra et. al.)
HAROLD AND MAUDE (the movie)
I? [Ray DiPalma suggested one I forgot but should have thought of: Martin Buber's I AND THOU]
JULES AND JIM (or really JULES ET JIM, the French new wave flick that had such an impact—including on me—when it first came out)
KISS & TELL (the Brian Ferry song, I always think I don’t like Brian Ferry—I guess because I don’t always like the attitude in his songs and because the few times I was at parties he was at back in the ‘80s, the women ignored me for him!—but then I do, at least when I’m in the right mood)
LIGHT & SHADOW (the book of poems by Simon Schuchat) and LOVE AND MARRIAGE (the Sinatra song from the TV musical version of OUR TOWN)
MIN AND BILL (the classic Wallace Beery/Marie Dressler early talkie which I love) and MINNIE AND MOSCOVITZ (the John Cassavetes movie which I don’t love but appreciate) and MELVIN AND HOWARD (a movie I only like because it stars one of my favorite actors, Paul LeMat)
NIGHT AND FOG (the movie) and NUMBERS AND TEMPERS (the book of poems by Ray DiPalma)
OVER AND OUT (not the best Foo Fighters song, but not the worst either, and for me they’re always intriguing)
PAT AND MIKE (the movie)
Q? [Terry Winch reminded me of the movie Q&A, which I also should have thought of]
ROMEO AND JULIET (Shake’s classic in almost any form always works for me) and RIVERS AND MOUNTAINS (John Ashbery’s early collection of poems that had an enormous impact on contemporary poetry) and RENALDO AND CLARA (Bob Dylan’s film isn’t my favorite, but it certainly has moments that are unique and uniquely his) (could put Tom Stoppard’s ROCK’N’ROLL here too, but I haven’t seen the play nor read it, just heard that it’s terrific)
SPRING & ALL (William Carlos Williams’ great—and revolutionary, technically—early book of prose and poetry)
THELMA & LOUISE (the movie) and TROILUS AND CRESSIDA (not Shakespeare’s most successful but still provocative) and TRISTAN AND ISOLDE (the Wagner opera, though it’s a little too much for my taste, it’s certainly uniquely Wagnerian, and I suppose is actually TRISTAN UND ISOLDE)
US AND THEM (The Pink Floyd track from DARK SIDE OF THE MOON)
VINCENT & THEO (the Robert Altman movie)
WHITHNAIL & I (the movie) and WORDS AND MUSIC (the Beckett radio play)
X & Y (Coldplay gets knocked a lot, but every time I actually listen to them, I’m pretty satisfied with the results, including this more recent album)
YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL (the Elvis tune, speaking of him and Priscilla)


Anonymous said...

"Love and Theft," Dylan's 2001 album, released unintentionally on September 11th, but weirdly suggestive of that day's turmoil.

Anonymous said...

Also Townes Van Zandt's "Pancho & Lefty." Which was a favorite of Damon Taylor, the recently deceased writer and supervisor of the Colombo squad, at the NYC headquarters of the FBI in Federal Plaza. He loved the lines, "All the federales say, they could have had him any day/ They only let him slip away, out of kindness I suppose." RIP, Damon.

Lally said...

Two good ones Toby. I should have thought of LOVE AND THEFT, one of my favorites, but PANCHO & LEFTY I don't own so only heard a few times and wouldn't have normally thought of. Someone (and unfortunately I erased the email before I realized who sent it (sorry whoever it was) e mailed me WAR AND PEACE, and all I could think was duh, how could I have not thought of that one!

Tom King said...

How about Nicholson Baker's U & I about Updike? Or Sid & Nancy?

Pancho & Lefty is a good one, though personally I feel only Townes sings it right himself. All the other versions I've heard (including Willie Nelson's) are poorly produced. My favorite lines from that are: "You weren't your mama's only boy/but her favorite one it seems/She began to cry as you said goodbye/And sank into your dreams." I just love "sank into your dreams."

Tom King

Anonymous said...

Bonnie and Clyde.

Lally said...

I never read U & I, but I should have thought of SID & NANCY, and can't believe I forgot BONNIE AND CLYDE

Anonymous said...

As soon as I read the criteria for your list I thought I might see BREAD & FISH there (below BONNIE AND CLYDE).

Mark Terrill