Instigating the Howl Trial – March 25, 1957

Sixty years ago today, the US Customs, in the person of Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated five-hundred-and-twenty copies of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”  – a pivotal moment  

From Bill Morgan‘s  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression:

“The Collector of Customs, Chester MacPhee, confiscated 520 copies [of Howl ] because, as he said, “The words and the sense of the writing is obscene…you wouldn’t want your children to come across it.”   U.S. Customs Law required a Federal Judge, upon application of the U.S. Attorney,  to grant permission to destroy the books. But, as [City Lights publisher, … Read More

1990 – Matters of General Importance

 

Edvard Munch – The Scream  (1893)- National Gallery, Oslo, Norway

Allen and Philip Glass‘s 1990 interview with Studs Terkel (see here and here) concludes with Terkel offering Allen an open platform to “go off” on “anything of his choice”. Allen takes full advantage, listing the dangerous turn to censorship and repression in contemporary America circa 1990 (his “cautionary footnote”, as Terkel describes it, is a snapshot of a moment, but still reads chillingly, and regrettably, continuingly, pertinent in the light of present times.)   

ST: Al, I thought we’d go off open-endedly, as they used to say in the … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 283

 

Edson cemetry, Lowell, Mass. The exact location. Bob Dylan and Allen visiting Jack Kerouac’s grave. We’ve featured Bob Egan‘s conceptual recreations – Popspots – before –  here.  Here’s his re-staging of two of Ken Regan’s iconic photos.

Here’s another of his Popspots ( “Pot Is A Reality Kick” – Benedict J Fernandez‘s much-circulated image of Allen at the LEMAR (Committee To Legalize Marijuana) protest, Christopher Street at 6th Avenue, New York City, January, 1965

 

Oscar Wilde !854-1900

Patti Smith reading Oscar Wilde in Reading Gaol ? Reading Gaol (HM Prison, Reading) … Read More