Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy 100th A.M. Klein

Two milestones today. No, Valentine's Day is not one of them. Birthdays. First it's my father's 81st birthday. If, within the next twenty-four hours, you've somehow managed to learn how to surf the net and stumble upon my blog dad, let me wish you a very happy birthday. I'm sorry I can't be in Florida celebrating with you. Anyway, I'll be calling later on as usual.

Second, it's the birthday of someone I've always considered a literary grandfather, the late great Montreal poet and novelist Abraham Moses Klein. My friend and fellow Klein-disciple Harold Heft (who wrote his PhD dissertation on Klein) has written a nice commemorative piece in today's Gazette. Also, nice that Harold slipped in mention of the Klein tribute poetry anthology I co-edited with Seymour Mayne (pictured) on the occasion of the poet's 90th birthday. As Heft mentions, it may not have the PR of Robbie Burn's Day, but Klein's centenary is being commemorated, including this upcoming event organized by the University of Ottawa (as part of the Tree Reading Series) on February 24th, and the staging of Montreal poet Endre Farkas's play Haunted House based on Klein's life and works at The Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. So have some haggis, no make that some gefilte fish, in celebration of the day. Incidentally, of the portrait by Ernst Neumann which Klein did not like much, the subject wrote, "had its geography correct but its climate all wrong."