By: Michael Sragow
Source: Sragow, Michael. "A Conversation with Steven Spielberg." Reprinted from Rolling Stone, July 22, 1982. In Steven Spielberg Interviews. Edited by Lester D. Friedman and Bret Notbohm. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000, 107–113.
About the Author: Michael Sragow is a film reviewer whose critiques have appeared in New Yorker, The Baltimore Sun, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He attended film school at New York University and later completed his degree in literature and history at Harvard.
Steven Spielberg was already a well-known film director by the time of his 1982 Rolling Stone interview with Michael Sragow. Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) were blockbuster hits in the theaters. This interview took place prior to the release of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial and Poltergeist in the summer of 1982.
Steven Spielberg knew he wanted to make movies when he was a child. His passion led him to film school, but he dropped out to actually make movies. Spielberg explains the importance of movies in his interview. He said movies, as opposed to films, are for audiences to...
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Crimes of the Heart
By: Beth Henley
Source: Henley, Beth. Crimes of the Heart. New York: Penguin, 1982, 55–68.
About the Author: Beth Becker Henley (1952–) was born in Jackson, Mississippi. She received a B.F.A. from Southern
Beth Henley wanted to be an actress but realized that there were not many parts for Southern women. She turned to playwriting and created several memorable female characters of Southern heritage. Influenced by her childhood in Mississippi, Henley relies on the oral...
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By: Raymond Carver
Source: Carver, Raymond. "Cathedral." In Cathedral: Stories New York: Knopf, 1983, 209–212.
About the Author: Raymond Carver (1938–1988), was born in Clatskanie, Oregon. He attended Humboldt State College (now California State University, Humboldt), receiving an A.B. degree in 1963, and the University of Iowa, receiving a M.F.A. degree in 1966. He was a short story writer. In addition, he wrote poetry and prose. Carver taught at Syracuse University before moving to the West Coast. His award-winning stories have been published in collections, magazines, and anthologies. Carver was married to writer Tess Gallagher. He was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Discovery Award for poetry, 1970; the Levinson Prize for poetry, 1985; and the Creative Arts Award citation from Brandeis University, 1988.
Raymond Carver published two volumes of short stories before Cathedral appeared in 1983. With this
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The House on Mango Street
By: Sandra Cisneros
Source: Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. 1984. Reprint, New York: Vintage, 1991, 3–5.
About the Author: Sandra Cisneros (1954–) was born in Chicago and grew up in Humboldt Park, Illinois. She earned an undergraduate B.A. degree from Loyola University in 1976 and an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa Writers Program in 1978. Cisneros is a Chicano activist and feminist, traits that are reflected in her fiction and poetry. She was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts fellow, 1982, 1988; the Lannan Foundation Literary Award, 1991; and the MacArthur fellow, 1995.
The House on Mango Street was first published by a small press, Arte Publico, in 1984. When it was re-published in 1989 by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, the book gained a broader readership beyond the Chicano and Latino community. Sandra Cisneros has been called a "representative" of her culture and has been one of the authors credited with revitalizing interest in Chicano writing.
Cisneros has discussed her background and what she faced in college. In an interview for Southwest Review, she noted that "Coming from a working class background, an...
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"God Bless the U.S.A."
By: Lee Greenwood
Source: Greenwood, Lee. "God Bless the U.S.A." MCA Music, 1984.
About the Artist: Lee Greenwood (1942–), born in Los Angeles, grew up on a farm near Sacramento, California. He received a saxophone for his tenth birthday to encourage a musical career. He formed his first band, The Moonbeams, while in high school, then played in casinos and lounges in Nevada. He later moved to Nashville. In 1983 and 1984 he was selected Male Vocalist of the Year by the Country Music Association (CMA).
Lee Greenwood understands both the business and entertainment sides of country music. "Show business is two words," he told Judy Corwin of the Baylor Business Review. "You've got to know as much about the business as you know about the show, or you may never survive." Knowing this has helped Greenwood move from the casino lounges of Nevada to the stage of country music. In 1980 he signed with MCA in Nashville and began recording albums and touring. In 1981 his first hit, "It Turns Me Inside Out" remained on the charts for 22 weeks and made Greenwood a star.
Greenwood toured extensively in the first years after moving to Nashville. In addition to the large venues and the fair...
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"We Are the World"
By: Michael Jackson; Lionel Richie
Source: Jackson, Michael, and Lionel Richie. "We Are the World." Secaucus, N.J.: Mijac Music & Brockman Music, 1985.
About the Artists: Michael Jackson (1958–) and Lionel Richie (1949–) are both singers and songwriters. Jackson began his career singing with his brothers in the Jackson Five during the 1960s. In 1976 the group split and Jackson began pursuing a solo career. Richie sang with the group the Commodores from the 1960s until 1981, when he began a solo career.
Recording stars raising funds for needy causes became a larger enterprise in the 1980s compared to previous decades. In 1984, a group of artists in the United Kingdom known as BandAid recorded "Do They Know It's Christmas?" USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) recorded "We Are the World" in January 1985. Other "aid" organizations—such as Farm Aid to raise money for farmers—formed throughout the 1980s to solicit funds for a variety of causes.
"We are the World" was organized by Ken Kragen, Richie's manager, in response to an idea by Harry Belafonte, who originally planned a benefit concert by black musicians to raise funds for Africa. In two hours' time, Jackson...
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By: David Mamet
Source: Mamet, David. Speed-the-Plow. New York: Gove Weidenfeld, 1985, 3–10.
About the Author: Playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer, David Mamet (1947–) was born in Chicago. Attending Goddard College and receiving a B.A. degree in 1969, Mamet studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater in New York from 1968–69. In addition to writing plays, Mamet has taught at Yale and New York University.
Critics have proclaimed David Mamet one of the primary playwrights of the late twentieth century. His play American Buffalo, first produced in 1975, established his reputation as a national figure. Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), which opened in England, extended his reputation and won the Pulitzer Prize. Many of Mamet's plays premiere in Chicago, his hometown, prior to opening on Broadway.
Author Joycelyn Trigg notes that Mamet has "consistently acknowledged his indebtedness to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class in numerous interviews." He also cites Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Bruno Bettelheim, and Joseph Campbell for helping form his moral vision. These writers explore the economics of culture and the...
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"When is a Painting Finished?"
By: Paul Gardner
Source: Gardner, Paul. "When is a Painting Finished?" ARTnews 84, November 1985, 89–97.
About the Author: Paul Gardner worked for The New York Times as a staff writer and assistant editor of the Sunday Arts & Leisure section. He was a contributor to A Faulkner Perspective, Franklin Library. He wrote the screenplay La Decade Prodigieuse, with Claude Chabrol. Notable assignments include an exclusive interview with Leni Riefenstahl, the German film director. He was also a contributor to periodicals, including Transatlantic Review, Plays & Players, ARTnews, and London Sunday Observer.
As with all arts, painters approach their work in a variety of ways. Paul Gardner chose fourteen painters to whom he posed the question "When is a painting finished?" The answers vary as much as the art they create. Just as writers revise their works, many artists attempt to improve what they view as flaws in their paintings.
Several of the artists refer to a "gut feeling"; in other words, they just know when something is finished. Jim Dine says that "a painting is finished when the romance is over." Robert Longo knows a painting...
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By: August Wilson
Source: Wilson, August. Fences. New York: New American Library, 1986, 1–20.
About the Author: August Wilson (1945–), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dropped out of high school after being accused of plagiarism. He educated himself in a local library. He wrote and submitted poems to literary publications at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1968 he co-founded a theatre company, Black Horizons on the Hill, located in Pittsburgh. He pursued his dream to write first as a poet, and later as a playwright. Wilson draws characters for plays from his life, his environment, and his background. He has won the Pulitzer Prize twice and has been awarded numerous fellowships, including a Guggenheim in 1986.
August Wilson provides a voice to those who have been disenfranchised by society. The setting of his plays is often Pittsburgh, where he grew up. Over a five-year period, Fences was subjected to drafts, revisions, and workshops around the country. The first reading of Fences was in 1982 at the New Dramatists in New York. In July 1983 it was accepted as a Eugene O'Neill Theater workshop play. At this time the play was still three and a half hours long. In 1985 Wilson worked...
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Two Poems from Dream Work
"Wild Geese"; "The Journey"
By: Mary Oliver
Source: Oliver, Mary. "Wild Geese" and "The Journey." In Dream Work. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986, 14, 38.
About the Author: Mary Oliver (1935–) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended both Ohio State University (1955–56) and Vassar (1956–57). She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984 for the collection American Primitive, and was also awarded a National Book Award for Poetry in 1992 for New and Selected Poems. Oliver frequently teaches poetry workshops at colleges and universities. In 2003, she was the Catharine Osgood Foster Professor at Bennington College.
Mary Oliver says that she never took interesting jobs so that she could concentrate on her writing. An interesting job, Oliver claims, distracts her thoughts and takes energy away from what she feels is the most important part of her life. Oliver has not yet been the subject of sustained writings about her life or poetry, but her poetry has drawn the attention of other poets and has earned critical acclaim.
Dream Work is Oliver's seventh book of poetry. In the collection she crafts forty-five poems that...
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By: Paul Simon
Source: Simon, Paul. "Graceland." Available online at http://www.paulsimon.com/index_collection.html (accessed April 29, 2003).
About the Artist: Paul Simon (1941–) began his successful solo career in 1972 after the breakup of Simon and Art Garfunkel, the 1960s folk duo. His first solo album had actually been released in 1965, but only in the United Kingdom. Both a singer and a songwriter, Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Paul Simon is "disinclined to honor artificial borders when it comes to music and culture," according to the online Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has experimented with different styles and types of music since beginning his solo career in the 1970s.
Simon collaborated with South African musicians on the Graceland album. Because of the political climate in South Africa and the issues surrounding apartheid, this became controversial for many. Simon attempted to separate himself from the politics to present international music but it was a difficult claim to make when he included exiled South African musicians in the Graceland tour.
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By: Kaye Gibbons
Source: Gibbons, Kay. Ellen Foster. 1987. First Vintage Contemporaries Edition. New York: Vintage, 1988.
About the Author: Kaye Gibbons (1960–) was born in Nash County, in rural North Carolina. She attended North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The author of several books set in the South, Gibbons won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction for the novel Ellen Foster.
Kaye Gibbons is one of a long line of Southern women writers who have created memorable female characters such as Ellen Foster, Ruby Pitts Woodrow Stokes, Charlie Kate, and Hattie Barnes—all of whom leave an impression upon the reader. Her women are survivors who are often fiercely independent. Ellen Foster is the thirteen-year-old girl who the reader encounters in Gibbons's first novel, published in 1987. She began the book as part of a graduate seminar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Kaye Gibbons won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the Louis D. Rubin Writing Award for Ellen Foster.
Gibbons's work often...
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Barbara Kruger's Statement of Multi-Media Art
"Barbara Kruger: Pictures and Words"
By: Jeanne Siegel
Source: Siegel, Jeanne. "Barbara Kruger: Pictures and Words." Arts Magazine 61, no. 10, Summer 1987, 17–21.
About the Author: Jeanne Siegel (1932–) is a former associate editor of Arts Magazine. She has written extensively on art and artists, including the books Artwords: Discourse and the 60s and 70s (1985), Art Talk: The Early 80s (1990), and Painting After Pollock: Structures of Influence (1999). Siegel is also a curator and is currently chair of the Fine Arts Department and the Advanced Art History Seminars at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Works of Art
By: Barbara Kruger
Source: Untitled 1987. Mary Boone Gallery, New York.
Barbara Kruger uses text and images to create her art. She attended art school at Parsons School of Design in New York, then worked as a graphic designer and in advertising before making the transition to visual art.
Similar to Jenny...
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Women in the World of Art
"Mrs. Holladay and the Guerrilla Girls"
By: John Loughery
Source: Loughery, John. "Mrs. Holladay and the Guerrilla Girls." Arts Magazine 62, no. 2, October 1987, 63–65.
About the Author: John Loughery (1953–) has worked as an English teacher in New York City and as a freelance journalist. His art criticism, film reviews, and reviews of galleries and openings have appeared in many art journals, particularly Arts Magazine. In 1990 he became the full-time art critic for The Hudson Review. Loughery has edited and authored several books and anthologies, including John Sloan: Painter and Rebel (1995), The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives and Gay Identities (1998), and Eloquent Essay: An Anthology of Classic & Creative Nonfiction (1999).
Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?
By: Guerrilla Girls
Source: Guerrilla Girls. Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum? 1989. Available online at http://www.guerrillagirls.com (accessed June...
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The Heidi Chronicles
By: Wendy Wasserstein
Source: Wasserstein, Wendy. The Heidi Chronicles and Other Plays. 1988. Reprint, New York: Vintage Books, 1991, 162–167.
About the Author: Wendy Wasserstein (1950–) was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Manhattan. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1971 from Mt. Holyoke College before pursuing a graduate degree in 1973 in creative writing at City College of New York. Wasserstein also attended Yale University School of Drama in 1976 where she studied with Robert Brustein, a prestigious drama critic.
Wendy Wasserstein's first professional play was Any Woman Can't, a farce about a woman who tried to become independent in the male–dominated world. Produced in 1973, the play began Wasserstein's career and her quest to create women in drama who weren't just stereotypes. Wasserstein's other plays include Uncommon Women and Others (1975), Isn't It Romantic (1981), and The Sisters Rosensweig (1992).
The Heidi Chronicles began in workshop productions at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in April 1988. It opened in New York on December 12, 1988, moving to Broadway's Plymouth Theatre on March 9, 1989. The play won...
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"Just Say Know: Interview with Keith Haring"
By: David Sheff
Source: Sheff, David. "Just Say Know: Interview with Keith Haring." Rolling Stone 558, August 10, 1989, 58, 66, 102.
About the Author: David Sheff has conducted interviews and contributed articles to such publications as The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired, as well as The Observer in England and publications in Russia and Japan. Among the people he has interviewed are Ansel Adams, John Lennon, Gore Vidal, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Betty Friedan, and nuclear physicist Ted Taylor. Sheff has also produced documentaries for National Public Radio.
Keith Haring (1958–1990) was born in New York and began drawing comics when he was a child. He enjoyed the work and, after trying graphic design school, decided to pursue a degree and a career in making his own art. Like many of the other public artists of his generation, Keith Haring wanted to bring art to the people. His bright drawings done with chalk began appearing in the subways of New York. One of the most familiar drawings of Haring's is called "Radiant Baby"—a baby, surrounded by energy rays, that has appeared on T-shirts, posters, buttons, and other...
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