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.
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 Krista Halverson with a foreword by Jeanette Winterson – 400 pages celebrate 65 years of the legendary Parisian Anglophone bookshop, with contributions from Anais Nin, Ethan Hawke, Robert Stone, Allen, (all sometime habitués), and many many more.
New York in the late ’70’s – Allen’s ubiquity:
Steve Buscemi and Elliott Sharp in conversation:
SB: It’s funny to think about it now, but we used to see them [the Beats] around. You’d run into Ginsberg at, like, you know, at like a Polish diner or something
ES: Oh yeah, like everywhere.
and fashion-photographer, Bruce Weber (in Time magazine, no less):
BW: When I came to New York, I got to know Allen Ginsberg, and he was in his 70s then and he was, like, the youngest person I ever knew. So then I thought, it’s kind of wonderful to be like that.
and more recollection – William L Morris remembering Allen (& Peter)’s (early 70’s) visit to his poetry class in Attica prison (in a recent issue of the Buffalo News):
“Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky almost didn’t make it to Attica. On a two-lane road between Buffalo and Attica, we ran into a blizzard. Ginsberg was in the back seat chanting Hindu ragas and Orlovsky was in the passenger seat fighting off the flu with garlic cloves. I had no idea where the road was. Orlovsky had taken too much LSD [editorial note – speed?] the previous year. What he lacked in conversational skills, he made up for in concentration. He discovered that the car’s wake revealed a yellow line on the road’s edge. Looking down, he recited, “You’re on the road, your on the road, you’re OFF the road, you’re OFF the road, you’re on the road”, until we reached the valley where Attica is. For weeks after that my car smelled of garlic but I didn’t care.
Ginsberg talked to the class about writing. He took out a little red book he always carried. When he had a Zen moment he wrote it down. He didn’t look at it again for 30 days. If it still worked, he used it. Otherwise, he abandoned it. Then he said, “Enough. You guys don’t need advice on how to write poetry. You need to learn (Zen) (Buddhist) breathing to deal with living in a place like this.”
Heather Ann Thompson‘s Blood In The Water: The Attica Prison Uprising And Its Legacy, published this month, on the occasion of the 45th-year anniversary of the riots
Pat Thomas, curator and mind behind Allen’s Last Word on First Blues CD collection, was interviewed on Paul Metsa‘s Minneapolis-based Wall of Power Radio Hour last weekend. You can get the free app to stream from anywhere and hear the show on-line – here