But not those two. The recent hubbub about Paul Zukofsky’s rather stringent views of copyright and distaste for studying his people’s work must be awfully inconvenient for those unlucky enough to be studying him, because Zukofsky’s “almost purely economic” interest looks like a case of getting blood from a stone. (Though it’s peculiar that Paul clearly has a more than superficial acquaintance with and affection for his father’s work. Except “Washstand”. He hates “Washstand.”)
That said, Paul Z. has managed to get all his own old albums of him playing and conducting Cage, Babbitt, Schnabel, etc., up on Amazon for purchase and download (all better than “Einstein on the Beach,” where he played the titular role), while leaving much of his dad’s stuff out of print, so he’s not quite milking his father’s cow for all its worth. And as many have already pointed out, while the recent foofaraw was hardly surprising to some, Paul Z.’s notice immediately caused the upload and distribution of an “A” torrent by anti-copyright activists who I’m sure couldn’t possibly be bothered to read the thing, making Louis Zukofsky’s work suddenly far more accessible (and cheap) than that of countless better-known poets.
But what amused me was stumbling on “The Injustice Collector”, about Joyce heir Stephen James Joyce and his own notoriously strict control of his ancestor’s estate:
Once, the death of a major literary figure marked the moment when scholars could interpret his work with genuine freedom. After Proust died, for example, academics began excavating the connections between his homosexuality and his art. Yet when Stephen Joyce succeeded in muffling a whole field of study with a combination of litigation and bravado, others took notice. Paul Zukofsky, the son of the poet Louis Zukofsky, said of Stephen’s efforts, “What I’ve heard sounds very, very good. He is a staunch defender of rights.”
Rights or money, which is it?