Thursday, October 25, 2018

Allen Ginsberg: 'The Best Minds of My Generation' (2017). Part III

Allen Ginsberg, The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beatsedited by Bill Morgan. New York: Grove Press, 2017. Foreword by Anne Waldman.

Early 1950s. "Kerouac was really a solitary genius, innovating and going forward into as yet unrecognized and unmapped areas of composition all by himself, with the courage necessary to do it . . . He had no support, not only from 'society' but also from his friends, his wife, his mother, or anyone." (p. 225) 

"It was my impression that very few people had a grasp of the phantom, or samsaric, or elusory nature of existence. They didn't have any idea of alternative modes of consciousness . . ." (p. 238)

"Jazz was a kind of speech that went round the world and influenced every country. The only art form, the only cultural push, that came out of America that transformed the political structure of the world through the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and rock'n'roll and . . . youth culture." (p. 243)

"[Walt] Whitman thought . . . that unless the nation were made up of comrades democracy couldn't work." (p. 246)

"Kerouac saw new jazz as a clarion of a new consciousness. It wasn't only bepop, it was the whole notion of American blues and black music." (p. 247)

"Nobody had looked on jazz musicians with that kind of insight, except other jazz musicians." (p. 249) 

". . . archetypal recollections were the very angelic bricks of their own lives, the foundation of their lives. Their early childhood thrills and symbols were the basis of all adult judgment and opinions and trips to the moon. . . a whole hidden memory life . . ." (p. 252)

"Jack's in there writing all by himself, for himself, for his own ear or for some universal consciousness, just for pure art." (p. 259)

Herman Melville poetry. (p. [260])

Sketching: "'like a painter but with words . . .'" (p. [264]) 

Little notebooks: "sketching to total mind's eye." (p. 266)

Gregory Corso. "Tailoring" poems, writing. (p. 278)

Corso: jazz, poetry. Charlie Bird Parker and Miles Davis and "Don't Shoot the Warthog." (p. 294)

From "Hello:"

"Do I wear the cloth of a man who has failed?
Am I the looney man?
In the great serenade of things,
     am I the most cancelled passage?" (p. 299). 

Today's Rune: Joy. 

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