Who’s Who in Gurus

At age 30, DJB lands a cover story with Harper’s Magazine (November 1983). Heady times for the young writer. The volume and intensity of attention makes it clear he’s touched a societal nerve. Read how his career achieved transcendence.
Click here to open PDF file in separate browser tab.


Le Duel! A Free Transcription

The story of Franz Liszt’s fateful musical duel with the virtuoso Sigismond Thalberg, as told by DJB using similar techniques employed by Liszt to music of other composers, making it his own. The year was 1836. In San Antonio, the Alamo was falling; in Paris, Liszt stood his ground to fight his own enemies.
Click here for more.


Knabe Piano . . . for Genteel People of Means

Written for Maryland Magazine during its heyday, 1992, this splendid article by Dennis Bartel was among the first extensive studies of the pioneering American piano manufacturer. Over the years, this work has become Bartel’s most cited publication in music histories.
Click here for more.


Americans in Paris Cemeteries

Travel for DJB has usually been an excuse to write about someplace new to him. Read what he and Erin found in Paris five months before their wedding: dead American artists, buried in Paris’ two great cemeteries, Père-Lachaise and Montparnasse.
Click here for more.


Aborted Protest

Dennis Bartel covers one of the largest trials in Pittsburgh history, as the “Abortion 68” learn the ways of justice. The time is April 1994. The New Journalism of Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Gay Talese, as well as grandfathers of the movement, Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, has passed its peak vogue. New Journalism has been absorbed into the bloodstream of mainstream journalism and runs through the veins of a new generation of writers.
Click here for more.


Federal Hill Homeless

DJB, writing as Pru Holt, takes aim at local merchants who attempt to send their homeless neighbors running, in one of his several published tracts on a modern American problem that only seems to get worse with time.
Click here for more.

 


No Place Like Home

A week after the above story was published, DJ Bartel wrote a longer, greater detailed account of homelessness in his neighborhood for a national audience, including much more on homeless advocate Mitch Snyder.
Click here for more.

 


Our Daily Bread

Dennis takes us inside a Baltimore soup kitchen and outside onto the streets to hear from its patrons in this iconic radio documentary.
Click here for more.

 


Violence in Israel

DJB reports from Israel as he travels in the Middle East. In this first of a series of observational pieces, he details the violence in the Land of Milk and Honey, from Tel Aviv to Galilee, which goes largely unreported in the U.S.
Click here for more.

 


Classical Dogs

Comments from the author on “Classical Dogs” – “I sold this doggone piece to the classical music mag BBC. They held it a year or so, then sent it back, saying they ultimately could not use it and I was free to do with it as I wished. I decided I was probably wasting my time with music magazines, and found the wonderful BARk Magazine, located in Berkeley, California. I think you’ll agree, it is a most literate and humane publication.”
Click here to open PDF file in separate browser tab.


Bible Drill

DJB contemplates the intersection of sport – scripture – and the efflorescence of young bodies. Where can you find John 3:16? On the field of play? And do you know where in the Bible you can find the book of Philemon?
Click here for more.

 


James Dean – Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die

DJ Bartel takes a wild ride with the movie icon. First, he immerses himself in the James Dean trilogy CalJimBick. Next, he watches the man behind the persona. Finally, DJ revs his engine and off we go, chasing the myth that never dies.
Click here for more.

 


Preserving Maryland’s Airwaves

This photo essay with Erin Kyle represents DJ Bartel’s last published work before leaving the east coast and returning home to L.A., 27 years to the month after he left L.A. at the age 27. The essay appeared in Maryland Life. Erin & Dennis find three distinctly different stations who still do radio the old-fashioned way, they care about it.
Click here for more.


A Cautionary Backtale

With the passing of Chuck Kinder, author of Honeymooners: A Cautionary Tale, and the model used by Michael Chabon in his novel Wonder Boys for the outlaw-writer Grady Tripp, DJB offers a remembrance of his former mentor.
Click here for more.

 


Charles Bukowski – Feverish with Climbing Broken Ladders

An appreciation by DJB, upon the death of his former tote board watching friend. “Word of his death was all over the mass media, as word of his books never was.”
Click here for more.


The Nutcracker – Dark Spirits in the Christmas Lights

Dennis James Bartel’s perennial holiday downer, illustrates how the truth can puncture the glittering myth. Exhaustively researched, elegantly told, widely read.
Click here for more.