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Robert Hunter Personal Archives

For the benefit of anyone who wonders what a songwriter does between songs, this website offers a few examples, beginning with "A Strange Music," a booklength journal of the Gulf War, for crying out loud, written in 1991 and circulated privately.

It's a faithful day by day account of the war as presented on television, commercials and all, and I believe the document has some historical significance, regardless of the fact that it is set in blank verse. Select:[Doc.1] [Doc.2] [Doc.3] [Doc.4] to load the four sections of the book. Click [Intro]to read the introduction alone.

I've also included a long poem entitled [Silver Marbles]. It's part of an unpublished trilogy called "The Bride of Entropy," but stands on its own. I've performed it several times, but never found a proper context in which to publish it before.

Also in this introductory batch is a reply to Jurgen Fauth's very literate essay "The Fractals of Familiarity and Innovation: Robert Hunter and the Grateful Dead Concert Experience" in which your humble writer responds to charges of (gasp!) meaninglessness in his work, leveled by a semiotician. It's all good fun and I cranked out a detailed explication of "Franklin's Tower" plus clearing up an obscurity regarding Sweet Jane of Truckin' fame. Push this button to get there: [Fractures]

Several other offerings are presently in preparation, including a compendium of unpublished poetry for which I'm working up graphics, with a few bells and whistles. Hopefully nothing that'll take too long to download without a posted warning. I expect this to be an ongoing project. The first installment of 30 (of 400) should be on line within a couple of weeks.

Another item I'm considering uploading soon is an uncompleted script for a Grateful Dead movie, suitable for playing on the screen of your mind.

Many other items which I was too lazy or too busy to see through to publication (you have to go out and promote these things, you know) are slated to come your way in this archive. Novels, peptalks, hopes, dreams and essays.

I've always been dismayed by the snail's pace of book publication and the internet is tailor made to get work into interested hands before it's ancient history. A bound book is a fine thing, no doubt, but I find that waiting several years to dovetail publishing schedules with work that feels ripe to communicate, if not downright urgent, can be demotivating. The gut urge to write another book which won't see the light of day for three years is not commanding.

I believe a whole new era of publication possibilities is signaled by the growing interest in the internet. Questions of copyright and methods of remuneration are, of course, something that need addressing. The only thing anybody can say for sure is that the old rules cannot and will not apply. The situation is bound to evolve some kind of information bartering system we can scarcely conceive of at this point in time. I've decided not to let that hinder me from trusting in the integrity of the people drawn to the work in the first place. Pipe dream? We'll see. The wheel is turning. The idea of limiting the potential audience of a work to make a few bucks (damned few in the case of poetry) doesn't raise many cabbages in this patch.

If any of the work I offer puts you in "payback mode" you're entirely welcome to visit your local comic book store, or tap GDM, and drop $6.95 (only 10¢ a page!) on my DC/Vertigo graphic novel "Dog Moon" illustrated by Timothy Truman (who draws the comics page of the Grateful Dead Almanac) and I'd feel amply compensated. It's a good grisly horror yarn for mature readers only. If that's not your cup of tea , by all means avoid it. If it is, don't leave it lying around where the kids can see it. When I was writing it, I couldn't imagine I'd let anyone see it at all. Like my journal. Next thing I'm giving a copy to my mother.

As for feedback, you can email me at K9Luna@aol.com until we get some kind of mailbox on dead.net. Not much of a correspondent but I'll check it out. No requests for biographical essays on me or my friends, or explications of the meanings of songs, please.

Seeing as how my Grateful Dead lyric work has been appropriated for the net since the medium first passed into public hands, I feel a bit like a grandfather of the cause, if through no design of my own. So I figure, why not give my work away before somebody else does? That, at least, gives control over context and presentation. I think this is the new way. I like new ways. There's something -er,new about them.


Robert Hunter

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