Allen Ginsberg Parinirvana

 [Allen holding an abbreviated version of his poem “Gone, Gone, Gone” January 1997. Photo: c. Richard Nagler, used with permission]

Irwin Allen Ginsberg died on this day, April 5 1997. We direct your attention to two haunting accounts of his last hours, one by Rosebud Feliu-Pettet, the other by Gelek Rinpoche.

Allen’s parinirvana

Previous notices on this occasion from The Allen Ginsberg Project  may be contemplated  here. here and hereRead More

Friday Round-Up – 306

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 [Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) in 1957 – Photograph by Jerry Yulsman]

updated news of the fabled Kerouac-Cassady letter – see here

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Tomorrow, (Saturday March 11) – Jack Kerouac’s 95th Birthday Celebrations in Lowell, Mass,, kick off at 12 o’clock, (12 Noon) in the Pollard Library with a Pollard Library Tour, led by Bill Walsh, followed by “The Unknown Kerouac”, a presentation and discussion by Todd Tietchen and Jean Christophe Cloutier of the most recently published Kerouac volume. Then, in the evening, at Zorba’s Music Hall –  “Happy Birthday Jack!” -“A celebration of Kerouac’s Birthday with The Neverly Brothers (Dave … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 303

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[Gelek Rimpoche and Allen Ginsberg, Wilmette, IL, 1991.  Photo: Jennifer Girard ]

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[Gelek Rimpoche via Jewel Heart ]

 

Sad news this week of the passing of Allen’s last great spiritual advisor, Gelek Rimpoche (1937-2017), teaching the lesson of impermanence. Gelek was there at Allen’s deathbed  (see this account). Allen was deeply inspired by Gelek and did numerous benefits for his organization, Jewel Heart

Jewel Heart have opened up a page for remembrances

More word of memorial events to follow

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Next Thursday and for the next five Thursdays, at the Newberry, Chicago’s independent humanities research library, our friend John Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 290

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s birthday today – from Richard Holmes’ definitive biography: ” (William) Wordsworth called him “the most wonderful man” he had ever known; but many subsequent biographers have been skeptical. It would seem possible to write an entire book on Coleridge’s opium addiction, his plagiarisms, his fecklessness in marriage, his political “apostasy”, his sexual fantasies, or his radiations of mystic humbug.

And indeed, all these books have been written. But no biographer…has tried to examine his entire life in a broad and sympathetic manner, and to ask the one vital question; what … Read More

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass on WFMT, Chicago, 1990 – part 1

[Studs Terkel, 1912-2008

Jewel Heart Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Philip GlassGelek Rinpoche & Allen Ginsberg, November 17, 1989]

[Philip Glass]

[Allen Ginsberg]

Studs Terkel Interviews Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass, 1990

We featured, a week or so back, Studs Terkel’s hilarious 1959 radio interview with Allen, Gregory Corso, and a mostly-silent Peter Orlovsky. Here’s another Terkel interview with Allen (alongside composer-collaborator, Philip Glass), this one recorded over three decades later. Ginsberg and Glass are in town (Chicago) for a benefit performance for Gelek Rinpoche‘s Jewel Heart organization (as Terkel periodically reminds his listeners), an event … Read More

Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 229

[Spiderman and Allen Ginsberg cartoon – Tom Gauld]

 

From the current issue of Poetry magazine  – more Howl parodies – (we’ve featured several such before –  –  Amy Newman – “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by wedding 
planners, dieting, in shapewear,/ dragging themselves in cute outfits through the freezer section for the semifreddo bender/blessed innovative cloister girl pin-ups burning to know the rabbi of electricity in poverty, obedience, in the dream stick of opium and the green Wi-Fi fuse..” From the Paris Review – “Supplication to the Muses on A Trying Day” – quite … Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Uncle Sam Hat

[Allen Ginsberg on Central Park Bandstand, 5th Avenue Peace Demonstration to Stop The War in Vietnam. 1966 -Photograph by Fred W McDarrah  c. the Estate of Fred W McDarrah and Getty Images]

Fred W McDarrah‘s iconic shot of Allen wearing his Uncle Sam hat – (an image that became transformed into a poster, that, at one time, in the ‘Sixties, was ubiquitous, hanging on seemingly every student’s bedroom or dormitory wall). He (Allen) tells the story (of the events of that day, March 26, 1966)  in the recently re-published National Security Archives interview: “I remember specifically one time, … Read More

Sunday April 5 – Allen Ginsberg Parinirvana

It’s Allen Ginsberg’s parinirvana today, the (eighteenth) anniversary of his passing. Here’s Herbert Huncke, “godfather of  The Beats”, on “the invisible body” – on witnessing funerals (“I’m inclined to think it was Hindu, but I’m not sure”) – burning ghats, Indian ritual (Huncke footage, courtesy documentarian, Laki Vazakas)  

[Herbert Huncke at the Chelsea Hotel]

Here’s Allen on the burning ghats (from an interview, 1994, with Suranjan Ganguly)

“SG: What was your experience of the burning ghats [of Benaras/Varanasi] ? AG: I went there several time a week … Read More

Happy Birthday Philip Glass

[“Jewel Heart Center, Ann Arbor Michigan, Philip Glass, Gelek Rinpoche & Allen Ginsberg, November 17, 1989″ – Photo inscribed “for Philip” by Allen Ginsberg]

Philip Glass is 78 years old today Words Without Music, his long-awaited memoir, will be published this Spring 

 

As a teaser, Philip Glass  is interviewed here, last January, by Marc Zisman for Qobuz, the French commercial music streaming and downloading service, on the occasion of  Le festival Nouveau Siècle de Saint-Étienne, organized jointly by l’Opéra Théâtre and the Museum of Modern Art 

Some previous Glass-on-the-Ginsberg-Project  here and  here Happy Birthday, Philip!

Read More

Allen Ginsberg’s Proust Questionnaire

 
  [Allen Ginsberg – Photograph by Michael Tighe]  

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire named after the one famously responded to by Marcel Proust (he actually took the questionnaire twice (once in 1885-86, when he was only a teenager, and again in 1891-92, with a different set of answers). Modern (twentieth-century evocations have included those by French tv host, Bernard Pivot, and, more recently, American tv presenter, James Lipton, and, as a high-point in the register of popular culture, for many years now, as a regular feature in the magazine, Vanity Fair. It’s from the latter (the March 1994 … Read More