So here’s a lost little You Tube gem (it’s been up since December of 2010 apparently!). The message here is, please, spell-Allen’s-name-right! – it’s Allen Ginsberg! (and Ginsberg not Ginsburg!) – That necessary kvetch out of the way, it has to be said, this is a curiously charming, and delightfully intimate, piece. Trent Harris manages to coax out of Allen an extraordinary honesty and candor (and the clips of him reading are pretty great too).
In 1979 Trent Harris, as he declares, “was lucky enough to spend three days my favorite free radical…We talked about beatniks, politics, and love.”
[Nina Kosoff (Ginsberg Recordings) and Peter Hale (Allen Ginsberg Estate), at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, on the occasion of the official launch of Ginsberg Recordings, July 17, 2012. Photo: Michelle Peralta]
Student: You know in the introduction to Visions of Cody you talk about the karmic situation..
Student: Do you.. (and wondering about bad karma) what do you think.. what went wrong back in the ‘4o’s..?
AG: Well, it didn’t just start in the ’40’s. What I was talking about was somebody lands and deceives the Red Men, and steals the land, to begin with, so it never did belong to us – so that’s why they were always looking for English manners
[Allen continues this August 1975 Naropa class by reading Williams’ “The Right of Way”] – “In passing with my mind/ on nothing in the world/ but the right of way/ I enjoy on the road by/ virtue of the law – / I saw/ an elderly man who/ smiled and looked away”…”Why bother where I went?/ For I went spinning on the/ four wheels of my car..”
AG: Read the thing. (Read Williams). (It’s) a review (in his Selected Essays) of (Ezra) Pound. He’s not yes/no. I mean, it’s not a black-and-white deal. He’s saying Pound is trying to make use of what can be made use of – the excellence of the classics – “It is in this case a master meter that wishes to come out of the classic(s), but at the same time to be bent to and incorporate the rhythms of modern speech…It succeeds and … Read More
Let’s see, page 289. Incidentally, I was talking about the American background. There’s a long thing on (Alfred) Stieglitz (who I was talking about) – “The American Background – America and Alfred Stieglitz” – a long essay. If you want to check out what the common thinking was of all those people hanging around together, that’ll give you the main gist of it.
There are a few other piths in this. [Allen begins reading from Williams’ “Selected Essays”]
“ASV” in the title here stands for “Annotated Streaming Videos”. Scroll down (as we hope you do) on the far right-hand side of your screen, and you’ll see “Streaming Video”, “Streaming Audio”, “Online Essays, Interviews and Articles”, etc, etc.
We’ve been tracking for some time now the Ginsberg meme – quotable quotes that don’t actually have an accurate source (but are far too seductive to give up), viral replicators (the internet is, as is well-known, full of them). We have already had to do detective work on “Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness”.Michael Schumacher helpfully came to our aid with that. We were wondering if this quote, above, worthy tho’ it may be, needs, likewise, a dose of caution or qualification. The occasion for such musings, earlier this week, esteemed historian and Middle East specialist, Juan