Sunday, January 20, 2008

Battle on Spaceship Earth!

Did you know that Buckminster Fuller -- best known for his geodesic dome -- wrote a lot of poetry? Adrienne, has this come up in any of your architectural research?

I've just ordered a used copy of this one, finally published in 1962: Untitled Epic Poem on the History of Industrialization (or: Greg's Dissertation Prospectus Leads Him Down Frighteningly Useless Back Alleys), but apparently this is just the tip of the dome and he actually wrote scads of (by all accounts pretty mediocre) verse. "Bucky" was also, according to his own preface to his book Critical Path (1981), pals with e.e. cummings. And, according to Ralph Maud's book on Charles Olson's "The Kingfishers," apparently Olson and Fuller were both at Black Mountain in the summer of 1949 and nearly had a rumble (or something).

And I quote: "The crisis came, according to the story as told by Olson in conversation, when it seemed as though the future of Black Mountain would go either in Olson's direction or Fuller's. Fuller came to Olson's house on campus 'with his men' for a confrontation; he went in the house alone with Olson for an hour; then he came out and took his men off to New York. Commenting on this to Creeley in a letter of May 1952, Olson said: ' I drove Buckminster Fuller out of my house here three years ago come summer by saying to that filthiest of all the modern design filthers: "In what sense does any extrapolation of me beyond my finger-nails add a fucking thing to me as a man"'."
[who would you rather fight?]

[According to wikipedia, Fuller was also good friends with John Denver, who dedicated a song to him (so there's that 6-degrees-of-e.e. cummings connection that you've been thinking about w/r/t/ Denver).]