Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995

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9780060930813: Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995

Whether criticizing the American government, protesting the war in Vietnam, or denouncing capitalism, Ginsberg gave voice to the moral conscience of the nation. His personal essays on Jean Genet, Andy Warhol, Philip Glass, and others, give us compelling portraits of his fellow artists. And his views on poetry, free speech, Buddhism, and the Beats reflect the concerns of the postwar American culture he helped shape.

Provocative, playful, eloquent, and of the moment, these essays offer a social history of modern America that remind us of the events and issues that preoccupied the minds of a nation -- and one of its most influential citizens -- in the postwar years.

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About the Author:

Allen Ginsberg was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as a winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. He was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1926, and died in New York City in 1997.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A comprehensive, well-organized collection of uneven prose by the late Beat Poet (Journals Mid-Fifties, 1995; Death and Fame, 1999). The essays, articles, and letters here were first printed in magazines like Evergreen Review, Rolling Stone, small presses, religiously affiliated publications or (a score) nowhere at all. Many blurbs and puff pieces of unknowns collected in the Writers section here should not have been reprinted either. But essays on Ginsbergs intellectual love, Walt Whitman, and one of his physical loves, Peter Orlovsky, add much to the literary and biographical worth of the anthology. In the seven other sections, at least two or three works are essential for the Ginsberg freak or anyone researching pre-revolution Amerika of 30 to 50 years ago. In Politics and Prophecies, Ginsberg takes on Vietnam, nukes, Un-American Activities, and most government agencies. He supports the Hells Angels and has the chutzpah to write that to be a junky in America is like having been a Jew in Nazi Germany. And this isn't even in the section devoted to Drug Culture, where, testifying at a Senate hearing, he compares mind- expanding LSD to the ritual taking of peyote. In Mindfulness and Spirituality, the bard lectures in Emersons old pulpit and intones mantras over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Ginsberg outted homosexuality itself, but few will defend the pro-pederasty defense of NAMBLA which appears in the Censorship and Sex Laws section. Admirers of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Blake will most appreciate Literary Technique and the Beat Generation and the following section, especially the essays on the making of Howl and Kaddish. Finally, in Further Applications, Ginsberg proclaims that with John Lennon and Bob Dylan we see that poetry has returned through music back to the human body. Except for historians and fans of the Beats, nothing to howl about. -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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