[Allen Ginsberg reading and lecturing in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, 1993]
Allen’s new book, The Best Minds of My Generation, selections from Allen’s lectures (not to be confused with the lectures transcribed here on the Allen Ginsberg Project), “mercifully reduced to 455 pages, shorn of repetitions, student interventions and Ginsberg’s habit of beginning every sentence with “So” – (sic) – as the reviewer in the London Times would have it) continues to impress one and all.
Here’s an excerpt from Gaby Wood‘s review in London’s Daily Telegraph:
Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More
[Jack Kerouac & Lucien Carr, Columbia University Campus, 1944]
[Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg at Lucien’s wedding to Francesca “Cessa” von Hertz, January 4, 1952. Photographer unknown]
[Dane De Haan as Lucien Carr from the 2013 film Kill Your Darlings]
March the first. Today is Lucien Carr’s birthday
Central but enigmatic figure at the birth of the Beat Generation, for “that story” we’ll send you to this New York Times piece. (altho’ we have reservations about the author’s Kerouac hatchet-job – here)
For earlier postings on Lucien on The Allen Ginsberg Project – see here and also … Read More
AG: ..Yes. She still wouldn’t remain true. In other words, You got to “go catch a falling star”, “get with child a mandrake root”. Anybody know what that reference is?
Student: (There was a note on it in the book)
AG: Well, yeah, but it didn’t give you the full thing. It’s the.. On the gallows tree, when.. as (William) Burroughs pointed out, when people’s necks are snapped when they’re hung (and also beheaded, I … Read More
[William Burroughs. Photograph by Allen Ginsberg ]
William Burroughs on Creative Reading continues
WSB: Any further questions?
Student: What do you think of all these codes in Lord Jim. You know, he’s writing about all these kind of unexplained code and then, at the end, he’s… he’s killed, kind of, by the native’s code, and Brierly’s suicide that’s a kind of code. I’ve been kind of wondering what Conrad was thinking when he put all these open-ended codes of conduct into the book?
WSB: Yeah, well, so he says, faith in a fixed code of conduct. Now, this … Read More
WSB: I’ve got The Treasures of Sierra Madreon here. Now that, it’s sort of axiomatic that good films are not made from good books. The Treasures of Sierra Madre, I think, is a much better film than it was a book (that is, I read the book after seeing the film. I found the book quite a disappoinment, it didn’t have the punch that the film had at all) . I was trying to think of a case of a really good book that has been made into a good movie, … Read More
Student: It’s a (Joseph) Conrad short-story. And the last half of the movie (version).. It’s straight Conrad – two totally paranoid traders, in the heart of the Congo, have a real Gothic Western shoot-out, They think that they’re leading each other on, (but…)
WSB: No, I haven’t, I haven’t read it yet.
Student: (You really have to…)
WSB: Yeah, but there’s some.. there’s some very … He … Read More
Our transcription of William Burroughs’ 1980 Naropa lectures continues from here – . Burroughs on Conrad.
WSB: An Outcast of the Islands – how many of you have read it? That was, I believe, his second book, No-one? – [surveys the class] – No-one has read it. It’s.. the characters.. there’s nobody comparable to Jim [in Lord Jim], everyone’s more simplified, much more simple characters in that book, and the emphasis seems to be on the sets more than on the characters, but it’d make a good film, because it is essentially a novel of rather … Read More