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Deliberate Prose

Selected Essays 1952-1995

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Paperback published by Harper Perennial

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About This Book

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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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.

Product Details
Paperback (560 pages)
Published: March 20, 2001
Imprint: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 9780060930813
Other books byAllen Ginsberg
  • Collected Poems 1947-1997

    Collected Poems 1947-1997
    Here, for the first time, is a volume that gathers the published verse of Allen Ginsberg in its entirety, a half century of brilliant work from one of America's great poets. The chief figure among the Beats, Ginsberg changed the course of American poetry, liberating it from closed academic forms with the creation of open, vocal, spontaneous, and energetic postmodern verse in the tradition of Walt Whitman, Guillaume Apollinaire, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. Ginsberg's classics Howl, Reality Sandwiches, Kaddish, Planet News, and The Fall of America led American (and international) poetry toward uncensored vernacular, explicit candor, the ecstatic, the rhapsodic, and the sincere—all leavened by an attractive and pervasive streak of common sense. Ginsberg's raw tones and attitudes of spiritual liberation also helped catalyze a psychological revolution that has become a permanent part of our cultural heritage, profoundly influencing not only poetry and popular song and speech, but also our view of the world. The uninterrupted energy of Ginsberg's remarkable career is clearly revealed in this collection. Seen in order of composition, the poems reflect on one another; they are not only works but also a work. Included here are all the poems from the earlier volume Collected Poems 1947-1980, and from Ginsberg's subsequent and final three books of new poetry: White Shroud, Cosmopolitan Greetings, and Death & Fame. Enriching this book are illustrations by Ginsberg's artist friends; unusual and illuminating notes to the poems, inimitably prepared by the poet himself; extensive indexes; as well as prefaces and various other materials that accompanied the original publications.

    Illuminated Poems

    Illuminated Poems
    Marking the fiftieth anniversary of "Howl," Illuminated Poems celebrates the collaboration of two visionaries of different generations: Allen Ginsberg, the quintessential Beat and America's best-known poet, and Eric Drooker, the New Yorker cover artist whose provocative, apocalyptic images add a new dimension and urgency to Ginsberg's poems. Illuminated Poems contains two works only available in this volume, an introduction by Ginsberg, and thirty-four poems from 1948 through the present day, including the poem "Howl" in its entirety. Perhaps the single poem that captures the anguish and aspirations of the Beat Generation, "Howl" was originally published fifty years ago and is one of the most widely read poems of the twentieth century.

    Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

    Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg
    The Letters
    "[An] essential Beat masterpiece." --The Village Voice. Perhaps one of the last great dual correspondences of the twentieth century, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters reveals not only the process of creation of the two most celebrated members of the Beat Generation, but also the unfolding of a remarkable friendship of immense pathos and spiritual depth. Through this exhilarating exchange of letters, two-thirds of which have never been published before, Kerouac and Ginsberg emerge first and foremost as writers of artistic passion, innovation, and genius. Vivid and enthralling, the letters, which date from their first meeting in 1944 to Kerouac's untimely death in 1969, chronicle the endless struggle, anguish, and sacrifice involved in giving form to their literary visions.

    Journals

    Journals
    Early Fifties, Early Sixties
    In the 1950s and early 1960s, Allen Ginsberg and his fellow Beats led an insurrection that profoundly altered the American literary and cultural landscapes. Collected here are journal entries culed from eighteen notebooks that Ginsberg kept during this extraordinary period -- thoughts, poems, dreams, reflections, and diary notes that intimately illuminate Ginsberg's actual travels and his mental journeys. They reveal a remarkable and fascinating life: conversations with William Carlos Williams; drug experiences; a chance meeting with Dylan Thomas; stays in Mexico, San Francisco, and New York; first impressions of "Naked Lunch"; bits and peices of "America, Kaddish" and other poems; political "ravings"; and, of course, times with William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Gergory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Peter Orlovsky, and many, many others. What emerges is a truly unique personal account that will touch the mind and the soul.

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