Friday, October 31, 2008

RIP Studs Terkel 1912 - 2008

A great many eulogies will be written in the days ahead about the scope, breadth and humanity found in Terkel's work (in fact, here's a great one from the Chicago Tribune).

It would be greatly surprising if one of them failed to mention of Working, however. It is a seminal work, one that gave a realistic and relatable voice to the working class during the late 60s/early 70s, filling in the details of the gap between the lower and upper classes for posterity.

He was respected and admired by many.


Deni said...

As a former Chicagoan, this one feels like a death in the family.

I was lucky enough to see Studs mnay times, both speaking at an event or just on the streets of Chicago. He got around town on public transportation even in his senior years.

My favorite memory of seeing him was going to a production of an adaptation of his book Division Street: America at Steppenwolf Theatre. I was in an aisle seat and he was in the one across the aisle from me, and he kept fiddling with his hearing aids to point where he would be causing feedback. People would all look over with these looks on their faces of "who the fuck....?" and then change immediately when they saw it was Studs.

After the performance, Studs sat on the stage and was interviewed for about an hour by Ira Glass. He told all these stories abut the characters from the book as if he had just interviewed them yesterday, even remembering what kind of gigars one guy smoked. And he was like 89 at this time.

Great man. Great progressive mind.

anna said...

I still can't find words for this loss. All I can think is: will anyone feel such loss when our current legion of bloggerheads pass away? Does anyone actually live their politics in the way that Studs did anymore?

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