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1 Prof.dr.

Rodica Mihaila 20th Century American Literature Course 7_3 3rd Year – English major SPRING 2012

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Born in Newark, New Jersey. Father – Louis Ginsberg – school teacher, poet Mother – Naomi – Communist – elegiac poem Kaddish (1961) School in Paterson – William Carlos Williams → a friend (“No ideas but in things”) Columbia B.A. 1948- auditory hallucination (Blake) 1953 – moved to San Francisco A leader of the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance. In 1954 married Peter Orlovsky; 1974 with Adrienne Rich – co-winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. In “Ego Confession” he says: I want to be known as the most brilliant man in America (…) I want to be the spectacle of Poesy triumphant over trickery of the world… Poet, guru, world traveler, prophet, visionary of the Flower-Acid-Rock Generation Notoriety as a sociocultural enfant terrible ; one of the most influential post-1945 poets Poetry First major poem “Howl” (1956) = a milestone of the generation Entire work → the stature of Leaves of Grass (as significant as the Wasted Land). He defines it “Beat- gnostic-Imagist” At once, intimate and prophetic hilarious and terrifying profoundly religious and at times outrageous His poetry – encompasses a myriad of experiences (whole human life) - like Whitman → incredible power prophetic, Balke, Whitman, the Bible

revolutionary change (new areas of experience new cultural situations) A dark vision of of the Eisenhower years Alternative to the tightly organized.Williams) rather than a text for reading → Tradition: Blake and Whitman (what they have in common) – prophet poet .Norman Mailer’s Advertisments for Myself .invites a complete emotional and physical participation by the audience 1956 Howl – the beginning of change – dangerous example . well written poetry under the influence of New Criticism Emotionally explosive.disregard for distinction between poetry and religion .scope .distrust for abstractions and the cerebral .2 Whitman → a model and mentor in – technique . 1984) Approximately 18 volumes before 1984 The tradition of American poetry as voice dependent (Whitman.C.intent but – Whitman’s poems = hefty songs .eclectism His poetry: . It created an audience for – Robert Lowell’s Life Studies . W. metrically expansive. self-preoccupied.Ginsberg’s poems = lamentations His impact → results from his prophetic stance as a man and as a poet sustained by the vital spirit of Blake and the prophets of the Old Testament ⇒ a modern day Isaiah the public conscience of the nation he laments the evil humankind he belief in the holiness of life vision of a new Jerusalem Collected Poems: 1947-1980 (Harper and Row.

Norman O’Brown: Life against Death Liberating influences : Jack Kerouac: .the uncorrected first draft . Allah. Siva. He travelled in the East.poetry → an extension of his own personal relationships (no distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your Muse) Ginsberg described himself as a “Buddhist Jew with attachments to Krishna.3 . Vivid presence in American Life (p. Coyote and the sacred Heart” – a spiritual adventurer. . 1120): his poems are fragments of a great confesion.