Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 378

Michael Robbins on Book Post – on Gordon Ball’s iconic photograph

“What better image of.. institutionalized complacency could be imagined than the assigning of Ginsberg’s verse to the nation’s future military elite, who – far from being scandalized by lines like “Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb” (from “America,” perhaps Ginsberg’s finest poem)- approach the reading with the dutiful ennui of students everywhere. Howl, like Ulysses and Lolita, has become homework.

But the poem, Robbins notes, “still razzle-dazzles today, this run-on prophetic mode of drug culture and madness, Whitmanian catalogue tuned to Blake-inflected beatific visionary blab with … Read More

Conrad Rooks – Chappaqua

Chappaqua, the legendary 1966 film, written and directed by Conrad Rooks (Rooks not Brooks – sic), now available, in its entirety, on You Tube [2014 update – they come and they go, Chappaqua is no longer available in its entirety on You Tube], is this weekend’s Allen Ginsberg Project focus.  

Here’s the original trailer

As Jack Sargeant, in his essential account in Naked Lens – Beat Cinema points out:  “Rooks began to experiment with alcohol in his teens and later with drugs [a variety of drugs], to which he became addicted” [as he declares quite explicitly in the opening … Read More

Wholly Communion – Peter Whitehead (ASV5)

[Allen Ginsberg reading at the Royal Albert Hall, London, at the first International Poetry Incarnation, June 11, 1965 – photograph by John “Hoppy” Hopkins]
Wholly Communion, the filmed record of the First International Poetry Incarnation, as it was so dubbed, that took place, on this very day, 46 years ago, in London’s Royal Albert Hall, is a remarkable film, a remarkable document, and one well worth watching. It can now be seen in its entirety (broken up into four segments – the Ginsberg segment being the last of them – here, here, here – and hereRead More