Ginsberg, Beats and the Politics of Dissent

Bob Donlin, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, Robert LaVigne & Lawrence Ferlinghetti, City Lights Books, 1955. c Allen Ginsberg Estate

Lee Siegel argues, provocatively and curiously (and. we think, wildly erroneously) for the relationship between the Beat Generation and the contemporary phenomenon of The Tea Party (focusing on the sociology of dissent) in this past weekend’s New York Times – two very different ideas of American freedom but with curious points of divergence (or so he proposes). Check it out.

Elsewhere in the New York Times universe, Amanda Christy Brown and Holly Epstein Ojalvo present a pretty useful teaching model utilizing Howl, the movie to teach Howl, the poem (following up from Stanley Fish’s recent article) – see “Poetry on Film: Interpreting “Howl” in the 21st Century” in their New York Times Learning Blog, The Learning Network. Allen and the Beats certainly, as Siegel says, seem to “be everywhere these days”.

Meanwhile, Howl continues to roll out to more US cities, for instance in Boulder this week, home of Naropa University and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics who  hosted the Boulder premiere. Be sure to check your local listings over the coming weeks. Werk Works have   [had – sic] a pretty reliable list if you’re unable to find one.

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