[lit-ideas] Re: early recording of 'Howl' discovered

EY:
In this period, he became the poet (along with Ferlinghetti) foisted on high school students by barely-literate high school English teachers.

Hey!  I resemble that remark.


an image of visionary romanticism that was in fact monochromatic and conformist.

I take it Eric doesn't like Ginsberg. Indeed AG may well have become a cartoon of himself, but I forgive him everything for "Howl" alone. He was the monkey in a cage flinging his shit at you -- sorry, Walter, I meant to write 'fecal matter' -- actually that reads worse -- 'excreta', then? Oh, yuck. Shit it was, shit it is, shit will forever be. Amen.

The list of scoundrel writers and artists whose private lives are/were morally abysmal to my way of reckoning is a long one. And learning that so-and-so was a rabid anti-Semite or a fervent fascist, or a political terrorist, or etc. can be very disconcerting -- but it's not the soul of the person, it's the book, the painting, the music, the dance, the poem that matters. Once an artist can no longer buy a stay of execution through his artistry, he should be executed. No argument there.

Mike Geary
Memphis


----- Original Message ----- From: "Eric Yost" <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 11:21 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: early recording of 'Howl' discovered


>>Pay no attention to the logician behind the curtain.  Ginsberg is
God, or he was for a while.  If not God, at least a demiurge.


The best response to Mike's paean to AG is written by Milan Kundera in his Preface to _Life is Elsewhere_. He describes the degradation of the poet's role in cultural revolution that occurred in the 20th century.

Kundera writes:

"I witnessed this era 'ruled hand in hand by the hangman and the poet' (p. 270) from up close. I heard my admired French poet Paul Eluard publicly and ceremonially renounce his Prague friend whom Stalinist justice was sending to the gallows.

"This episode ... hit me like a trauma: when an executioner kills, that is after all normal; but when a poet (and a great poet) sings in accompaniment, the whole system of values we considered sacrosanct has suddenly been shaken apart."


In my opinion, Ginsberg did most of his "singing with the hangman" after his best work was long gone, by the time he taught at Brooklyn College and Naropa. In this period, he became the poet (along with Ferlinghetti) foisted on high school students by barely-literate high school English teachers.

Ginsberg became the standard for the naifs who saw poetry through him, influencing a generation to ape the the old spontaneous fake, creating an image of visionary romanticism that was in fact monochromatic and conformist. Ginsberg spawned thousands of these blind, conformist sprats, each of whom imagined they were the incarnation of the radical hip opponent of the hangman, even as they hung people and culture itself.
------------------------------------------------------------------
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

------------------------------------------------------------------
To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off,
digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html

Other related posts: