The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

January 14, 2012

Les Daniels

Les Daniels died; he was a roommate of mine at the Large Lime commune
in Providence, an unbelievable old-time banjo player, comic researcher
and artist extraordinaire, amazing thinker, vampire novel writer, and
fellow Brown grad student. I met him in a course on the 19th-century
novel. We were starting with Gulliver's Travels and the first thing he
asked was whether "Gulliver's Travels was a novelistic allegory or
allegorical novel?". Both he and I started laughing hysterically; the
rest of the class discussed the issue for two weeks. I loved him.

Maybe it was "Green Lime" but it wasn't "Large Green Lime." The back
of the house was taken down, board by board, to burn in the fireplace;
we had no heat. The electric went out, sparking socket after socket.
There was no sewage line, but the basement was filled with lime to
handle the overflow. We stopped paying rent altogether when we
figured out the house was 'owned' by a dummy corporation connected to
the mob. The mother next door was feeling LSD to her baby. We had
two cats and loudspeakers on ten-foot stands to blow electric guitar
out the windows. The building was torn down.

Les was amazing; at one point he put his girlfriend's furniture out
on the lawn and I remember him being taken away by the police after
trying to pry a crucifix off a Providence church, yelling "You've
suffered long enough!". He played furious banjo I think once in
Cambridge and was taken away after his solo went on and on, he was
lying on his back and wouldn't stop. He was so damn brilliant. I
hated Brown but loved him and loved Providence. It's a lot safer
now. The photo here has no relevance at all. You can buy his books
on Amazon and Abe. In five billion years the sun will turn into a
white dwarf surrounded by a planetary nebula. We'll all be there.

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