Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 302

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[Neal Cassady and Jack  Kerouac]

[Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac – The Joan Anderson Letter via Heritage Auctions]

The legendary Joan Anderson letter is back in the news again. “The seminal piece of literature of the Beat Generation”, Neal Cassady’s epic letter to Jack Kerouac, which, for almost sixty years, was thought missing and then was miraculously rediscovered and put up for auction (only to, surprisingly, fail to reach its asking price) is up for auction again.

The auction date is March 8. Bidding begins approximately February 17th (next week). Full details may be found at Heritage Read More

Martin Torgoff’s Bop Apocalypse

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Bop Apocalypse – Jazz, Race, The Beats, & Drugs – putting the word out on Martin Torgoffs new book from Da Capo.

From the author’s web-site:  “Bop Apocalypse is largely the story of the evolution of jazz and its relationship to the Beats: the first time that drug use coalesced with music and literature, becoming a central element in the creation of an avant-garde American voice and underground cultural sensibility.”.

The book, (an  outgrowth of a chapter in an earlier book of Torgoff’s, and very much its compliment, Can’t Find My Way Home), “features vivid portraits of … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 300

[“Ground Zero for the Beat Generation” – Unidentified Woman reading from “Howl” inside the 7 Arts Coffee Gallery in New York City, c.1957 – Photograph by Dave Heath]

No Friday-Round Up last week, so a little catch up today, starting with Sean Elder’s Gary Snyder interview, “National Treasure,” in Lion’s Roar.

 [Gary Snyder at the Center For Interfaith Relations’ 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth, Sacred Self]

GS: “The first time I met Allen Ginsberg was at Rexroth’s house—Allen had just come up from Mexico. The first time I saw  Kerouac was when Allen brought him to … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 299

The Best Minds of My Generation – Very pleased to announce a new Allen Ginsberg publication (due out in April)  from Grove Press – “A Literary History of the Beats” –  (“A unique and compelling history of the Beats, in the words of the movements most central member, Allen Ginsberg, based on a seminal series of his lectures”), edited, (as judiciously and informatively as ever), by Beat scholar, and our good friend, Bill Morgan

From the Grove Press web-site:

“In 1977, twenty years after the publication of his landmark poem “Howl” and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 298

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The 2016 Pompidou Center Beat Generation show (currently up, in a revised version at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany) made it as number three in the art-site Hyperallergic‘s years-end list of the  “top 15 exhibitions around the world” . The artist-critic Joseph Nechvatal writes:  “The entire airy layout of the Centre Pompidou’s retrospective of the Beat Generation was flawless, delicately and luxuriously balancing the dim lighting requirements needed to show the mix of texts,paintings, photography, collages, ephemera, historical documents, magazines, book publications, jazz music, spoken-word recordings, and fantastic underground films. Its content was a hard rejection of American right-wing … Read More

Allen Ginsberg Reading in Baltimore -1978 -1

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[Allen Ginsberg, performing at the Maryland Institute College of Art via MICA Digital Initiatives Unit]

Last weekend we featured a reading by Allen at the Maryland Institute of Art dating from 1969 (one of a number of extraordinary tapes recently digitalized and made available on-line by the Institute’s Decker Library). Today we feature another from that trove, Allen reading and performing at that same venue almost a decade later. Once again, alongside his own work, (accompanied by the ubiquitous harmonium, and a hastily picked-up, confessedly under-rehearsed, guitar-player – “Hoppy from The Moronics”), he performs versions of William Blake, Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 295

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[Two early French editions from 10/18, Editions Christian Bourgois]

 

The European Beat Studies Network’s 2017 Annual Conference, the sixth, (this past year (2016), it was held in Manchester, England), will have a decidedly Francophile bent this coming year – “Paris Interzone – The Transcultural Beat Generation (Collaboration, Edition, Translation)”.

From the announcement by the conference organizers:

“This year’s conference will honor and address the key role that the French capital and Francophone cultures have played in the transculturalism of the Beats, by welcoming submissions in both French and English and holding a plenary session on language barriers and … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 294

Jean-Jacques Lebel, co-curator of the ZKM Beat Generation show, giving an inaugural speech, following the ZKM’s Director Peter Weibel, in Karlsruhe on November 25 2016.

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William S Burroughs – from Danger Series‘ – Portrait of William S Burroughs in front of the Théâtre Odeon – Brion Gysin (Naked Lunch series, Paris October, 1959

Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso – video-trailer for the Beat Generation at ZKM, Karlsruhe, November 2016

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Jack Kerouac – still from video on show at Beat Generation at ZKM (Karlsruhe) – see above

Beat Generation at ZKM – Opening last weekend in Karlsruhe, Germany – … Read More

Allen Ginsberg in London 1965

 

“Allen Ginsberg Reading At Better Books”, LP cover, 1965 – Illustration by Alan Aldridge

A rare and important Allen Ginsberg reading in London – his famous reading in the basement of Miles’  Better Books bookshop – in the Spring of 1965

“Recorded on a Ferrograph (reel-to-reel tape-recorder) by Ian Sommerville

“The reading originated after Ed Sanders provided Ginsberg with Miles’ name as manager of Better Books, a connection he followed up on his arrival in London from Prague in May 1965. The impromptu reading, though unannounced, was packed (the audience included Donovan, (who provided the pre-reading entertainment) … Read More

Terry Gross Interview, 1994

 

Terry Gross. 1987 in the studio on NPR’s “Fresh Air”

   

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn, looking for an angry fix”

TG: Allen Ginsberg, reading his now classic poem “Howl”. Ginsberg was a cultural hero to several generations. He was one of the leading Beat poets in the (19)50’s, in the (19)60’s he was an icon of the counterculture, through the (19)70’s and (19)80’s, he continued to write and to explore Eastern religions. By the (19)90’s, he was an inspiration to up-and-coming … Read More