Salman Rushdie, describing a moment, in 1989 in New York, in protective custody, following the issuing of the notorious fatwa that followed on the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses
“I spent that day in a fourteenth-floor suite with at least twenty armed men. The windows were blocked by bullet-proof mattresses. Outside the door were more armed men with Schwarzenegger-sized muscles and weaponry. In this suite I had a series of meetings which must remain secret, except perhaps for one. I was able to meet with the poet Allen Ginsberg for twenty minutes.The moment he arrived, he pulled cushions … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg at his 1973 Glasgow Press Conference]
We featured here last week, Allen’s interview in 1973 in Scottish International. Featured today is a companion piece from The Glasgow Review (drawing from the same press conference). The piece was initially titled “Of Burns and Watergate” (referring to the two main topics).
Interviewer; What do you think of the present state of the Watergate affair?
AG: Well what the underground both in America and England have been saying for a long time now has become accepted currency in the minds of the above-ground, middle-class media. The specific conceptions that are … Read More
“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
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
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