Stanley Elkin, retyped

With his constant travel and portfolio of businesses, Ben Flesh is “a true democrat who would make Bar Harbor, Maine look like Chicago.” So wrote award-winning writer Stanley Elkin in his all-too-prescient fourth novel, “The Franchiser” (1976).

On Friday, Jan. 26, Los Angeles performance artist Tim Youd will commence an 11-day homage to Elkin — who taught in the Department of English in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis from 1960 until his death in 1995 — by retyping “The Franchiser” on the same Adler Satellite typewriter that Elkin used to compose the book.

The project is sponsored by the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) St. Louis in conjunction with the exhibition “Tim Youd: St. Louis Retyped.” Dates and locations are as follows:

Friday, Jan. 26: Ridgley Hall, Holmes Lounge, Danforth Campus
Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 27-28: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Jan. 29-30 and Feb. 1-2: Duncker Hall, Room 210 (Coffee Room)
Feb. 3 and 4: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Feb. 5 and 6: Duncker Hall, Room 210 (Coffee Room)

All performances are free and open to public and typically will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break from 1-2 p.m.

“Tim Youd: St. Louis Retyped” remains on view at the CAM through April 22. Subsequent performances will center on works by William S. Burroughs, T.S. Eliot and Marianne Moore, all of whom have deep local connections. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared in The Source.

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