Magnus Torén of the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur provides listeners with a deeper undestaning of Big Sur - one of the most mythic places in California.
In this 42-minute podcast, Magnus discusses hitchhiking down the coast to Big Sir in the late 1970s, the work of the Henry Miller Library (where "nothing happens" - min. 2), how Miller first arrived in the area and some of his writings specifically about (min. 5-10), Miller's relationship with Emil White and Emil Schnellock and some of the outstanding letters that the Library holds (min. 11). Magnus also explains the indebtedness that contemporary artists have had to Miller's work - Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are just a few of those who have played the Library's very intimate stage (min. 16).
Magnus then turns towards contemporary challenges, notably gentrification (min. 23). "It is at risk of being loved to death." Whereas Big Sur used to be an artist colony (and served as a refuge for those hiding from the House Un-American Activities Committee), it has now been gentrified. Traffic and skyrocketing house prices are two of the biggest issues that challenge the preservation of the area's cultural and natural values. He closes with discussing the Esalen Institute, the Zen Monastery in the hills and his own oral history project (min.. 31).
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