HIS HEAVINESS on THE magazine cover
It has been said that Gus Blaisdell—writer, philosopher, critic, and educator at the University of New Mexico—was a force of nature. His critical essays addressed photography, film, painting, and philosophy, among many other subjects. Blaisdell delighted in his friendships with celebrated figures in the arts and humanities, which included photographer Lewis Baltz, philosopher Stanley Cavell, writer Evan Connell, poet Robert Creeley, and art critic Max Kozloff. Blaisdell lived a life surrounded by books—he was a passionate reader, as well as being an editor, publisher, and a bookstore owner. Gus Blaisdell Collected (University of New Mexico Press, $40) is a sampling of his writings, selected and edited by William Peterson who writes “Gus’s writing revolved around the quest for knowledge of the self and the search for understanding our human placement in the world.” Of particular interest in this volume are his takes on Joel-Peter Witkin, Frank Stella, Lewis Baltz, and Allan Graham. About Blaisdell, critic Dave Hickey wrote, “Gus was the absolute, undeniable, real thing. One of the few.” This long-overdue book contains introductory essays by philosopher Stanley Cavell, literary critic David Morris, and an editor’s preface by Peterson, all of which gives the reader insight into the workings of the mind of this legendary figure. Guy Cross editor, publisher THE magazine
*Cover Photograph by Nicole Blaisdell Ivey
Gus Blaisdell Collected can be purchased by following the link below.
Gus Blaisdell Collected
From the moment he arrived in New Mexico in 1964, Gus Blaisdell (1935–2003) was a legendary presence. Famous in Albuquerque as a writer, teacher, publisher, editor, and especially as the proprietor of the Living Batch bookstore, Blaisdell was also a brilliant critic whose essays influenced readers throughout the country and across the Atlantic. This long-awaited collection of Blaisdell’s critical writings includes essays on literature, art, and film, along with moving tributes by some of the distinguished writers who numbered Blaisdell among their friends. Introductory essays by philosopher Stanley Cavell and literary critic David Morris join colleague Ira Jaffe’s poignant memoir to provide perspectives on the man by friends who knew him well. Glimpses of Blaisdell’s vivid personality can be had from the many photographs included, and the diligently researched chronology compiled by Nicole Blaisdell Ivey tracks the course of her father’s complicated life.