the day richard fariña was the thrown from his friend's speeding motorcycle (that had been estimated, by police, to be traveling 90 miles per hour), he was celebrating his wife mimi's 21st birthday, as well as the publication, a mere two days earlier, of his only book (been down so long it looks like up to me
, a novel). as fantastic a work as it is, this posthumous collection (poems, short stories, songs, essays, and diary entries) more completely illustrates fariña's talent. long time coming
is candid, unqiue, and inordinate in scope.
fariña's legend often precedes him; he purported to have served as an overseas revolutionary, he was thomas pynchon's roommate in college, he married joan baez's little sister (with whom he made three records), he had befriended a young bob dylan, may have been the only irish-cuban writer, and had died at the young age of twenty-nine. the quality of his writing need not the boost of so renowned a reputation, however, as its character is evident on nearly every page.
is good enough
for those who know.
someone takes the time
to pass the word."