Denis Johnson: Audio + Video + Text

I carry Denis Johnson’s little book, “Jesus’ Son,” with me like a bible, like a book of spells: enchanting, charming and devilishly satisfying. It is the perfect book to read in the morning, at the bus stop, on the train or in the waiting room of a hospital. Perhaps it is my admiration of Raymond Carver, who Johnson studied with, that helps draw me closer to Johnson, or perhaps the way his characters interact, the places they go, or their inner dialogue that ignites something within me. It is hard to pinpoint.

Last week, I posted a link to a reading by Robert Coover, an audio file, a chance to hear the author’s voice, to experience the text aurally, from without. Today, I present more than several links to precious gems that I came across: audio links, video, text…all from Denis Johnson.

For those of us who are students of the “virtual classroom,” self-learners and maniacs, this provides a nice learning experience. I believe that hearing the voice of the author is important. The rhythm which with the author reads varies from my own rhythm, the tone of voice, the pauses, the intonation. Being an audiophile, I appreciate these things and hope that you will, too.


George Plimpton reads Denis Johnson’s essay “Hippies.”


Denis Johnson reading from his book “Jesus’ Son”


Denis Johnson’s poem “The White Fires of Venus”
Denis Johnson’s essay “School is Out: Why I Teach My Kids at Home

I found these links by way of someone’s Mahalo page on Denis Johnson. The link to the source is:

Denis Johnson on Mahalo

If you are aware of more Denis Johnson audio and video available online, please contact me or leave a comment with the relevant link. Thank you and enjoy.

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