“One thing people don’t know about Ginsberg is that he was an incredible dancer, who would just do these steps that were so unusual and exciting..”
and he’d always have a good dance partner too, usually somebody from the tour, somebody we’d pick up along the way. He danced a lot, Ginsberg.”
Hey, Bob even filmed Allen dancing, that very same year.
Schelling: “If you listen to some of the recordings of him in his mature years, the depth of his voice, the largeness of his lungs and the way he really has, not only brought the pitch of his voice very low but.. he’s speaking from his diaphragm, and you can hear that extraordinary difference between speaking from high up in your throat and speaking from a deep place. And I feel that.. again, of the poets that I’ve listened to, he has been among the most instructive to me to listen to, in person, to have seen him read – (He exhibited) a command over his breath and a command over what I would call, like, in a sense, “the musicality of poetry” (which is not singing, it’s not the music of music, its the music of the full range of the vocal apparatus…”)
A curious piece by on 3 Quarks Daily this week by Michael Abraham- Fiallos – “On No Longer Liking Allen Ginsberg” – Not the usual “hit-piece” we’d expected but, rather, a reasoned contrarian view that, “there is a kind of showmanship in the poem that does not sit well with me, a glorying in the abject that never quite reaches the eternal pronunciation of the Truth-with-a-capital-T that it explicitly declares as its intent” – “I realize about halfway through the poem’s first long section that I don’t like this poem very much. Or, I don’t like this poem very much anymore. It’s a little bit racist, a little bit whiny, a little bit full of itself. It is profound, don’t get me wrong. It is epochal, in its way. But, it is not for me anymore..” Abraham-Fiallos goes on (in a piece worth reading) to enumerate his misgivings.
Speaking of critiques, is it just us or was there something troubling and wrong in Nathan Gelgud’s Diane Di Prima cartoon in The New York Times ? – (a Diane Di Prima cartoon? – in the New York Times?)?
(Here, by the way, is the latest edition of Revolutionary Letters)
Gelgud seems to be implying that there was something quaint and hypocritical about Diane’s radicalism, that it “waxed and waned”. On the contrary, she remained true to her values (heroically so), even through her last years of illness, and throughout her life.
Incidentally, in case you missed it, the Literary Hub website ran an excerpt from her recently-published posthumous City Lights volume, her memoir of the dancer Freddie Herko , Spring and Autumn Annals – see here
and that Neal Cassady photo that we featured here last week? – went, as we expected, (as did so many items in the auction) for considerably more than the estimated price – $3,024