[The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, (1852), By John Martin]
AG: Then I tried some combination… then Shakespeare , then I tried a Shakespeare sonnet (again, the same year (1948). The occasion was reading the entire manuscript of Kerouac’s The Town and The City, and because it was so monumental and poderoso, powerful I thought, and the prose was so grand, at the end, toward the end, it got towards Thomas Wolfe-ian, Herman Melville–ian prose, that I realized that we must be on the train to some vast destiny, that all our day-dreamy arty.. walkings-under-the-Brooklyn-Bridge-in-the-moonlight … Read More
“Ginsberg also makes room for Herbert Huncke, whom he calls the “originator” of Beatness. An addict, gay hustler and petty thief, seeking, in his words, the freedom “to become more obscure,” Huncke introduced Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs to the mid-1940s underworld of Times Square. In a bold stroke of canon-stretching, Ginsberg pronounces his sketches of the lower depths, published almost by accident and innocent of literary allusion, “classics.” In celebrating the unlettered Huncke, Ginsberg was suggesting that professionals may have more to learn from … Read More
The legendary 1982 Jack Kerouac Conference at Naropa (then Institute, now University). We’ve featured a number of postings consisting of transcription from events at that one-of-a-kind stellar gathering (on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Kerouac’s On The Road), but not, for some reason, this one – Herbert Huncke,John Clellon Holmes and William Burroughs, introduced by Allen Ginsberg. We hereby rectify that omission.
Celebrating Herbert Huncke‘s birthday today. “Godfather of the Beats”, he would have been one-hundred-and-two! – See here for our posting on the occasion of his Centennial. Today, courtesy of our friend Laki Vazakas , footage of the great story-teller, raconteur, recorded in New York, at the Chelsea Hotel, February 7, 1994. Evoking the notion of “the invisible body”, Huncke recounts and recalls his time in India, witnessing the burning ghats.
HH: Well, it’s sort of strange, you know, one is always I think intrigued by the idea of the invisible body at a funeral (I’ve always felt that … Read More
[Allen Ginsberg to Paul Bertram (1928-2013) , in 1947, from the Ginsberg-Bertram letters]
Readers+Writers Journal, this week, announced the discovery (in a trove of newly-found letters and postcards from Allen to his life-long friend, Rutgers professor and Shakespearean scholar, Paul Bertram), of, arguably, the first known reference in the writings of the Beat Generation to the seminal term “Beat”.
Paul Bertram’s 1965 volume – Shakespeare and The Two Noble Kinsmen (Rutgers University Press)
Writing as early as July 14, 1947, (these are “among the earliest, if not the earliest collection of Ginsberg correspondence ever” appearing on the market), Ginsberg … Read More
Notice (last week) of the passing of London’s ubiquitous counter-cultural hero, John “Hoppy” Hopkins brings us to this little snippet of footage (from the BBC’s current affairs program, Panorama) – footage of a “Legalize Pot” rally (including archival footage of Allen) in 1967, in London’s Hyde Park.
Despite the pompous commentary…