Walt Whitman on Falsehood and Democracy

Walt Whitman, writing in 1871, in Democratic Vistas 

“..I say we had best look our times and lands searchingly in the face, like a physician diagnosing some deep disease. Never was there, perhaps, more hollowness at heart than at present, and here in the United States. Genuine belief seems to have left us. The underlying principles of the States are not honestly believ’d in, (for all this hectic glow, and these melodramatic screamings,) nor is humanity itself believ’d in. What penetrating eye does not everywhere see through the mask? The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of … Read More

“Trembling Lambs”

america_a_prophecy_copy_a_plate_02
William Blake – title-page of America a Prophecy copy A (printed 1795) – collection of the Morgan Library

 

Allen, writing, prophetically, in 1959:

AG: “Recent history is the record of a vast conspiracy to impose one level of mechanical consciousness on mankind and exterminate all manifestations of that unique part of human sentience, identical in all men, which the individual shares with his Creator. The suppression of contemplative individuality is nearly complete…”

“Because systems of mass communication can communicate only officially acceptable levels of reality, no one can ever know the extent of the secret unconscious life. No one … Read More

Remembering Pasolini

pasolini_h1

Our earlier (2013) posting on Pier Paolo Pasolini, due to a technical error, was unfortunately, and unintentionally, deleted. On the occasion of the anniversary (now the 41st year anniversary) of his assassination, we now restore and republish it here. Today marks the date (the 38th year anniversary) [now 41st – sic] of the assassination of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Following the recantation of his confession in 2005 by Pino Pelosi (“Pino the Frog”), the precise details of his homophobic and racist murder still remain unclear. Andreas Pichler’s recent documentary (made as a co-production for French tv, … Read More

Rimbaud’s Birthday

Allen Ginsberg
Arthur Rimbaud‘s birthday
For Rimbaud on the Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and here and here 

A defence of Rimbaud  by Allen Ginsberg

from a letter from Allen Ginsberg to (Professor) Lionel Trilling, September 4, 1945 [sic]:

…That you are unable to understand why I make so much of Rimbaud, dismays me somewhat. Though I should dislike to be over-bumptious about it, with your kind permission, I must witness his defense. I fear that since you have read  Rougemont‘s Partie du Diable you possibly approach Rimbaud viewing him as another eccentric French Satanist

Read More

A 1980 “Teach-In”

 

The format of the “Teach-In”, derived from ‘Sixties protests against the Vietnam War

AG: And the other thing, simultaneously is a heating up of all the war protest groups – the Alliance To Resist War and Violence [sic], and there’s now a classic “teach-in” going to take place (like in the ‘Sixties – “teach ins”?). There’s another “Teach-in” coming up, from Thursday on, Thursday and Friday, big “teach-in” at C.U. (Colorado University) . Simultaneous with Simon Ortega [sic –  Editorial note – confusing him with Daniel Ortega, Allen means Simon Ortiz], (no, just before Simon … Read More

Vital Native American Eco-Resistance (1980 & 2016)

Standing Rock

Standing Rock 2

Native American-Led Protests Against Dakota Access Oil Pipeline,  October 2016

Some sort of synchronicity. We had scheduled this post (Allen at Naropa in 1980, announcing a Native American-led protest against the sacrilege and environmental disaster of the proposal for South Dakota uranium mining), prior to the breaking news of Amy Goodman‘s arrest (and yesterday’s acquittal) over reporting on demonstrations against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. For more on the Pipeline and for Democracy Now‘s full coverage of the issue – see here

Amy Goodman, hosting Democracy Now! from Mandan, North Dakota

Amy  isn’t the only … 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

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago, 1990 – part 1

[Studs Terkel, 1912-2008

[Jewel Heart Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Philip GlassGelek Rinpoche & Allen Ginsberg, November 17, 1989]

[Philip Glass]

[Allen Ginsberg]

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, 1990

We featured, a week or so back, Studs Terkel’s hilarious 1959 radio interview with Allen, Gregory Corso, and a mostly-silent Peter Orlovsky. Here’s another Terkel interview with Allen (alongside composer-collaborator, Philip Glass), this one recorded over three decades later. Ginsberg and Glass are in town (Chicago) for a benefit performance for Gelek Rinpoche‘s Jewel Heart organization (as Terkel periodically reminds his listeners), an … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 286

 

     
Allen Ginsberg and his life-long partner, Peter Orlovsky, New York City, 1977 – Photograph by Gordon Ball

 

The Beat Generation exhibit at the Pompidou Center draws to a close with a number of specially-scheduled events – a colloquium and a series of films. Last chance to catch this extraordinary exhibit in its Parisian manifestation.

Here‘s Joseph Nechvatal‘s review in Hyperallergic

.

Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg

et aussi à Paris Next week sees the publication of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by … Read More