Read Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays, 1952-1995 by Allen Ginsberg Free Online
Book Title: Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays, 1952-1995|
The author of the book: Allen Ginsberg
Date of issue: February 16th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780060192945
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.86 MB
Read full description of the books Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays, 1952-1995:Allen Ginsberg's essays, collected here for the first time, were written over the course of a long, productive, and politically engaged life. With his finger ever on the pulse of America, Ginsberg was consistently outspoken and passionate about his beliefs. Whether criticizing the American government, protesting the proliferation of nuclear weapons or the waging of war in Vietnam, or denouncing the injustice of capitalists Ginsberg gave voice to a moral conscience of the nation. His views on free speech and the drug, culture, his quest for inner peace, the creation of the Beat generation, and his innovative poetics reflect the, concerns of a postwar American culture that he helped shape.
Arranged by subject, these essays offer a fascinating counterpoint to Allen Ginsberg's poems. Hey are provocative, playful, eloquent, and of the moment. In the section titled "Politics and Prophecies," Ginsberg takes on everyone from the Federal Drug Administration to the Pentagon to the Hell's Angels. Included here are his notes on how to make march/spectacle (drawn up in 1965 when a march was planned at Berkeley to support the cause of peace in Vietnam and to protest the draft), and his thoughts on how the raging issues of the day'China, Vietnam, and the 1968 Democratic National Convetion in Chicago. In another section, "Censorship and Sex Laws," Ginsberg's pieces demonstrate the strength of his belief in the right to free speech, which leads him to defend NAMBLA (North America Man Boy Love Association), comedian Lenny Bruce, and writer William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch. Ginsberg's essays on "Writers" focus on those he particularly admired, including William Blake. Walt Whitman, Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac, and Robert Creely. Through a combination of literary criticism and personal reflection, Ginsberg illuminates the life and work of these artists. Also, profiled are such influential figures as jean Genet, W. H. Auden, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, Robert Frank, and Philip Glass, artists whose work and sensibility deeply affected him.
Personal as well as political, Deliberate Prose is more than a collection of essays from one of the greatest cultural figures of our time. It is also a social history of modern America that reminds us of the events and issues that preoccupied the minds of a nation in the postwar years.
Read information about the authorIrwin Allen Ginsberg was the son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s. Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. A supporter of the Communist party, Ginsberg's mother was a nudist whose mental health was a concern throughout the poet's childhood. According to biographer Barry Miles, "Naomi's illness gave Allen an enormous empathy and tolerance for madness, neurosis, and psychosis."
As an adolescent, Ginsberg savored Walt Whitman, though in 1939, when Ginsberg graduated high school, he considered Edgar Allan Poe his favorite poet. Eager to follow a childhood hero who had received a scholarship to Columbia University, Ginsberg made a vow that if he got into the school he would devote his life to helping the working class, a cause he took seriously over the course of the next several years.
He was admitted to Columbia University, and as a student there in the 1940s, he began close friendships with William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac, all of whom later became leading figures of the Beat movement. The group led Ginsberg to a "New Vision," which he defined in his journal: "Since art is merely and ultimately self-expressive, we conclude that the fullest art, the most individual, uninfluenced, unrepressed, uninhibited expression of art is true expression and the true art."
Around this time, Ginsberg also had what he referred to as his "Blake vision," an auditory hallucination of William Blake reading his poems "Ah Sunflower," "The Sick Rose," and "Little Girl Lost." Ginsberg noted the occurrence several times as a pivotal moment for him in his comprehension of the universe, affecting fundamental beliefs about his life and his work. While Ginsberg claimed that no drugs were involved, he later stated that he used various drugs in an attempt to recapture the feelings inspired by the vision.
In 1954, Ginsberg moved to San Francisco. His mentor, William Carlos Williams, introduced him to key figures in the San Francisco poetry scene, including Kenneth Rexroth. He also met Michael McClure, who handed off the duties of curating a reading for the newly-established "6" Gallery. With the help of Rexroth, the result was "The '6' Gallery Reading" which took place on October 7, 1955. The event has been hailed as the birth of the Beat Generation, in no small part because it was also the first public reading of Ginsberg's "Howl," a poem which garnered world-wide attention for him and the poets he associated with.
Shortly after Howl and Other Poems was published in 1956 by City Lights Bookstore, it was banned for obscenity. The work overcame censorship trials, however, and became one of the most widely read poems of the century, translated into more than twenty-two languages.
In the 1960s and 70s, Ginsberg studied under gurus and Zen masters. As the leading icon of the Beats, Ginsberg was involved in countless political activities, including protests against the Vietnam War, and he spoke openly about issues that concerned him, such as free speech and gay rights agendas.
Ginsberg went on publish numerous collections of poetry, including Kaddish and Other Poems (1961), Planet News (1968), and The Fall of America: Poems of These States (1973), which won the National Book Award.
In 1993, Ginsberg received the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (the Order of Arts and Letters) from the French Minister of Culture. He also co-founded and directed the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Colorado. In his later years, Ginsberg became a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn College.
On April 5, 1997, in New York City, he died from complications of hepatitis.
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