Beethoven Statue in Park (1 Viewer)

Buk mentions in several poems and stories laying in the grass under a statue of Beethoven. The Bee walking with his hands clasped behind his back. This is almost always mentioned in relation to days spent in the bar in Philly. Or mentioned in the numerous tellings of the story with the two little girls seeing Buk asleep on the grass and calling him beautiful or pretty. Bored out of my head the other day I googled it up... Turns out there was never a statue of Beethoven in a Philly park, but there is one in Pershing Sq. in L.A. I thought it might be of interest to some of you to see...

BEE.jpg
 

mjp

Founding member
Pershing Square used to be quite a park. But like much of Los Angeles, it kind of fell apart in the 70s and 80s. About 25 years ago they ripped it up and poured concrete over most of it, so now it's more of a square than a park. I never knew Beethoven was in there.
 

zobraks

Reaper Crew
Moderator
Buk mentions in several poems and stories laying in the grass under a statue of Beethoven.
I could find that episode only in The Life of a Bum (Septuagenarian Stew) and in no poems.

It's interesting (for me) that he mentions Beethoven in almost all of his books; exceptions are mostly his novels and short stories collections: Ham on Rye, Hollywood, Hot Water Music, Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Pulp, South of No North. Only two of his poetry collections don't feature Beethoven: Play the Piano Drunk... and The Continual Condition.
 
I have to check Factotum. I know I’ve read this episode elsewhere and written differently, but it seems like it’s always connected to the Philly bar.

Life of a Bum mentions the guy called Monk who gets his haircut, gets pushed in front of a bus. Monk is also mentioned elsewhere. Portions of a Wine Stained Notebook. Page 188: Just Passing Through.

Any mention of that bar, Tommy or Jim the bartenders, Monk, laying in the park under the statue, are scenes from his early days in Philly.

Sometimes those early crazy years can be hazy in memory. I know mine are. I wonder if Buk mixed up Pershing Sq and some Philly Park intentionally or if it was simply the confusing veil of half-memory that misplaced the statue of the Bee.

Pershing Square...About 25 years ago they ripped it up and poured concrete over most of it, so now it's more of a square than a park. I never knew Beethoven was in there.

In NYC they have done the opposite. Parks that used to be paved over are now dug up and planted with wild grasses and flowers like you’d see in some meadow. It’s nice, and I’m sure theres some sort of benefit environmentally, but it lacks some of the guts and glamour of the old days. I’m thinking mostly of Washington Sq., Union Sq., and Madison Sq.

It's interesting (for me) that he mentions Beethoven in almost all of his books

One of my favorite poems is The Bull in The Roominghouse Madrigals.

The Bull was better than Brahms
As good as Beethoven.

Expressing the belief that Beethoven had been original and Brahms had been less so, in that Brahms was derivative of Beethoven.
 

mjp

Founding member
in that Brahms was derivative of Beethoven.
I'd imagine everyone who came after Beethoven was derivative of Beethoven. Same with Mozart, Bach...

It's interesting that Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and no less than three of Bach's sons were all alive and working at the same time, no doubt influencing (and stealing) from each other.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top