[Allen Ginsberg reading and lecturing in Olomouc in the Czech Republic, 1993]
Allen’s new book, The Best Minds of My Generation, selections from Allen’s lectures (not to be confused with the lectures transcribed here on the Allen Ginsberg Project), “mercifully reduced to 455 pages, shorn of repetitions, student interventions and Ginsberg’s habit of beginning every sentence with “So” – (sic) – as the reviewer in the London Times would have it) continues to impress one and all.
Here’s an excerpt from Gaby Wood‘s review in London’s Daily Telegraph:
AG: But – wait a minute – but, if you did a little bit of work with Titos Sompa [Congolese-Californian teaching at Naropa] and [jazz-drummer] Jerry Granelli in analyzing, not analyzing, just learning, the basic Afric rhythms that they use ( you’ve heard them play, haven’t you?)
AG: Have you heard Titos Sompa? – What are their names, Titos and..?
AG: Bemba.. They are teaching basic African rhythms, (which are not very different from this kind of five.. five-beat rhythms – in fact, what they are … Read More
[Joanne Kyger, Kyoto-Japan Sea visit with Gary Snyder, 1963 Summer. Photo by Allen Ginsberg]
continuing from yesterday..
JK: ..almost five years ago tonight … someone that Bobbie Louise Hawkins introduced me to, who is a monkey-studier from Harvard, they (he – Peter Warshall) came to Bolinas, and soon afterwards got word that this little island, desert island, off Puerto Rico, where they had during… let me see…before the war, they had put a bunch of rhesus monkeys from India on this little desert island, and then, during the war…, for breeding purposes, experimental purposes (like for … Read More
April 13, on this day, thirty-five years ago, in Boulder, “in preparation for this summer’s Great ON THE ROAD festival” (the twenty-five year celebration of Kerouac’s great enduring masterpiece) – “One and only time! Never before done and probably never after! An historic occasion!” – (Allen beats the drums!) – “The Beat Generation – A Literary History (1953-1957)”, an eight-week course taught by Ginsberg, featuring himself, (Gregory) Corso, (William) Burroughs, … Read More
Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road ! Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More
The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of The Beats As Taught by Allen Ginsberg is just out (this past Tuesday) from Penguin Books in England. Next Friday, Grove Press will publish the American edition. Interesting to compare the covers perhaps – the more sober UK edition, the more brash, more jazzy American? – Either way, it’s another essential Ginsberg book. Reviews are already highly positive:
Publisher’s Weekly – “A gold mine for anyone interested in beat literature . . . Ginsberg reads and thinks like a poet; interested in language and style, he abandons narrative to … Read More
“Then there’s something I like to call Crazy Seriousness. Kerouac used the word “goof” a lot in a very positive way, as when he was describing the Three Stooges in Visions of Cody. He was talking about Neal Cassady, actually, saying how the free imagination he felt in himself was justified in the world outside and he had nothing therefore to reproach himself for…”
Interviewer: So we want to figure out what’s best, you know, what will be most comfortable for you. What I want to do is an oral history of the ‘Sixties and Austin’s an interesting area because there’s a major university with a lot of anti-war… There was a segregtion case, a very famous law case here in 1959. There’s been an awful lot of work with the valley farm workers and Chicanos, plus we”ve got the Rothschilds here [sic], we’ve got all of LBJ‘s legacy. Basically, Austin’s sort of conservative but with the university and the State Capitol here, … Read More