Allen Ginsberg in Scotland – Mike Small‘s comprehensive gathering and review, “Allen Ginsberg, Iona, and the End of America” appeared last week on-line in Bella Caledonia (drawing from a lot of the material we’ve previously posted here). There’s a few major errors in this piece (e.g, at the start there, he mixes up details of the 1965 International Poetry Incarnation with a smaller 1973 London event, Poetry International (subsequently acknowledged)). He also wrongly claims Allen visited the UK in 1962 (not so). That said, there’s clearly been a lot of effort here in gathering the threads together, placing the significance, and the piece is most definitely worth a read.
Beat scholarship, Beat attention – Chad Weidner is currently in the process of editing a special issue of Humanities – “Keep on Rolling Under The Stars – Green Readings on the Beat Generation“. “Creative Environments – The Geopolitics of Allen Ginsberg“, Alexandre Ferrere‘s analysis of the relationship/cultural connection between Allen and French philosopher, Situationist, Guy Debord, the first of the papers to be published, is available for perusal here.
Steven Belletto’s compendium, The Beats – A Literary History continues to get stellar reviews. We’ve already noted Loren Glass‘s and A. Robert Lee‘s. Here‘s Regina Weinrich (in the current (September) Brooklyn Rail):
“Steven Belletto’s overview, The Beats: A Literary History, has much to offer. Fresh on the scene with outstanding readings of key work, and valuable inclusion of an army of poets and marginalized, artsy types associated with the beat movement…Belletto makes a good case for why Beat writing remains relevant, vital.”
William Burroughs – It’s the UK paperback publication this week of Casey Rae’s William S. Burroughs And The Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll. (We commented on the US publication back in April of 2019). Writing in The Quietus, Rae carefully selects “ten sonic artifacts featuring literature’s most iconic outlaw”. Check out his inspiring and various selections – here
Poet/art critic John Yau‘s astute and sympathetic appraisal of the paintings of Lawrence Ferlinghetti for Hyperallergic), (on the occasion of “Lawrence Ferlinghetti – Études“, his (Ferlinghetti’s) first exhibition in New York, being held (through to October 2) at New Release Gallery) is also something not to be missed.
“In contrast to the poems, which can be didactic at times, there is nothing obvious or instructional about the works in this exhibition”, Yau writes. ” Ferlinghetti’s poems are often imagistic and accessible. In the paintings, there is an assumption that the viewer knows something about mythology, poetry, and politics. Nor are Ferlinghetti’s inscriptions on the artworks necessarily literal or transparent.
With regard to the 2008 oil. “The Young Yeats”:
“(He) has written with a dry brush on the cream-colored ground: “Maud Gonne gone.”
(He) tells the viewer nothing more, leaving to those who know – or those who are curious to learn – to fill in the details about Yeats’ half-century-long mad crush on the suffragist, political firebrand, and actress Maud Gonne, and their shared preoccupation with the occult.”
Here’s another Ferlinghetti painting:
This painting, (in Yau’s opinion, ” the standout of the show”) ,”resists any narrative summation and remains firmly in the visual world. It seems so natural and direct, whimsical and mysterious.” It also, he argues, “resonates with this moment of self-isolation, self-cleansing, and social distancing, just as it will mean something else, I am sure, at another time and place.” ”
How many other amazing paintings has he done? (he poignantly asks). “How come we don’t know about them?”