Among the many pleasures of reading this work is the persistent pattern that recurs every time Dennis Hopper is involved in an anecdote. It may fairly be said that there are two versions of any anecdote relating to Mr Hopper, these consisting of:
1. The version recalled by Mr Hopper himself ;Being an aficionado of both chess and cinema, this naturally puts me in mind of the leading star in our own less exalted firmament, the chess correspondent of the Times, Ray "mate in two with Qxh7" Keene. Ray, too, often has a different view of events that involve himself himself than do the other parties, which pattern is a very longstanding one indeed, stretching almost as far back as the controversy as to who wrote the script to Easy Rider. (Our parallel works here, as well, since Keene, like Hopper, has had the misfortune to encounter controversy involving matters of literary ownership.)
2. The version recalled by everybody else.
This blog will maybe take the opportunity, now and then, to examine some of these differences of memory, which - Dennis or Ray could reasonably argue - are inevitable when we are talking about events so long ago, especially when you have taken quite as many drugs as Hopper has, or slept off as many lunches as has Keene. I came across one of these just the other day when perusing, not entirely by chance, the discussion board which accompanies Ray's games on Chessgames.com, which discussion runs to almost three hundred pages, something that you couldn't say of many of his books.
Anyway, I was reading an entry Ray made on the 9th of August, explaining his poor performances in Argentine tournaments in 1978, apparently due to tiredness:
i played badly in the olympiad and also not so well in clarin-esquel i started to recover-i think i was a bit drained by the korchnoi v karpov match which preceded it -where i was korchnois secondHe probably was "a bit drained", yes. But I wonder if he was particularly drained because - as Ray has apparently forgotten, but as others may remember - he spent much time not only working as Korchnoi's second, but writing an instant book on the match. An activity which his contract with Korchnoi, others have recalled, specifically ruled out...