William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time, “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period” (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More
Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network – “The Transcultural Beat Generation” is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”. The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.
Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More
Last week we reported on a poor quality tape from Stanford that illegally came out (and was dutifully squashed). This week we report on a high quality recording that was properly disseminated (included, alongside a brief notice, in Le Magazine Litteraire’s announcement of the Ginsberg digitalization). The tape “Tape 3 Ginsberg 1994” is a raw record of Allen presenting some poems, in a studio setting, for future musical adaptation. (We’re thinking that this is from the preparation for The Lion For Real album/CD, though we could be wrong, the Stanford date here is 1994, The Lion For Real recordings … Read More
A little out-of-order this – but here’s Allen’s George Herbert selection – remember George Herbert?) (and some concluding remarks to his (April 1980) Naropa class)
AG: Okay, so next, I would have… (George) Herbert (page 285), check out Mr Herbert, similar to Herrick, as interesting as Herrick, but it’s a little more laden with God there, but some very amazing emotions come through, particularly, “The Collar”‘ (check out “The Collar”, the form), Check out the form of “Easter Wings” on page 285 as a precursor of shaped poetry, of what do you call it nowadays? the…Concrete…pardon me? – … Read More
From the account of Blake’s death by his contemporary, George Richmond (to fellow Blake acolyte, Samuel Palmer) – “He died on Sunday night at 6 o’clock in a most glorious manner. He said He was going to the Country he had all His life wished to see & expressed Himself Happy, hoping for Salvation through Jesus Christ – Just before he died, His Countenance became fair, His eyes Brighten’d and He burst … Read More
AG: There’s a nice, … but then, something that happens now, from here on out. It started. You got a shot of it in (John) Donne with that masochistic religion, and the interiorization of the spirit into some kind of deus ex machina outside, on the other side of the clouds, that’s supposed to come and rape your mind. And then, from then on, there’s all these different varieties..it gets squeezed..English poetry gets squeezed more and more into this … Read More
Allen Ginsberg in the Archives at Stanford University
Today big news to report, Stanford University have finally completed a monumental task – the audio/video elements that were reformatted from the Ginsberg papers are now available as streaming media through their catalog. We’ll be focusing more on this in the weeks ahead. Meanwhile to access the Ginsberg catalog immediately – see here
(and read Stanford’s announcement of this, indeed, major “cause for celebration” – here)
Today, please be aware, is Hart Crane‘s birthday (born 1899. died off the Gulf of Mexico).
AG: .Well, the feet would be the… well, basically, the number of stresses in a line would be the number of feet, basically, number of stresses, as distinct from syllables. And a foot would be a varied kind of feet (da-da, da-da, da-da, da-da) – Tyger, Tyger ( da-da, da-da – da-da da) – So there’s four feet in “Tyger, Tyger burning bright” (that’s four feet -right?) – I think the Greek word is “metron” maybe for measure..I don’t know, I’ll have to check that out – hard to find a Greek nomenclature … Read More
A real treat this weekend – with gratitude to Robyn Brentano and students from the NYU Ethnographic Film Program – “Buddhism and the Beats.”. “In 1993, Allen Ginsberg spoke to a gathering of students of the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Lobsang Samten, about the impact of Buddhist thought and practice on himself, the Beat writers, and American culture at large”. The full hour-and-a-half tape is transcribed below (continuing tomorrow, and with the Q & A session to be featured here next weekend)