Allen Ginsberg

Post image for Tracking the Beat Generation Across Three Continents

PARIS — Though almost entirely lacking a female presence — artist Jay DeFeo and poet Diane Di Prima being the exceptions that prove the rule — the Centre Pompidou’s airily laid out retrospective of the Beat Generation is otherwise flawless.

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Post image for On His 100th Birthday, a Conference Considers William Burroughs’s Humanist Legacy

PARIS — With determined indeterminacy, young Mathilde Louette initiated a perplexing but hip four-hour English-language celebration of William S. Burroughs’s 100th birthday on December 12 in Paris, where the writer lived, on and off, between 1958 and 1966.

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Post image for ‘Partisan Review’ Digitizes 70-Year Archive

The archives of Partisan Review, the totemic 20th-century journal of politics and the arts, have finally been fully digitized.

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Watching the Beats Grow Old

by Joseph Neighbor on March 28, 2013

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From 1953 to 1963 — a period that corresponds with the publication of his most celebrated works — Allen Ginsberg snapped photographs of his cohort of soon-to-be famous friends. These shots weren’t intended for exhibition; they were mementos, thrown in the back of a drawer. He unearthed them two decades later and had copies made, in the borders of which he scrawled relevant details in felt-tip pen. It is these photographs, amended with shots from the ’80s and ’90s, that are on display at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

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Post image for “I Noticed My Friends”: Allen Ginsberg’s Photography

In his poem “America” (1956) Allen Ginsberg addresses the nation as if it were a codependent lover, asking, “Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?” followed immediately by the confession, “I’m obsessed by Time Magazine. I read it every week.”

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Post image for The Scaffolding Saints of the Lower East Side

Tom Sanford and Graham Preston’s latest project, “Saints of the Lower East Side” (2012), remembers “when,” or more precisely marches out some of the progressive history of an area that has been mostly reduced to cool tshirts from a bygone era.

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Poets and Popcorn

by Morten Høi Jensen on February 26, 2012

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America, says Charlie Citrine in Saul Bellow’s novel Humboldt’s Gift (1975), is proud of its dead poets. Especially the mad ones: the bridge-leapers, the drink-guzzlers, the pill-snackers. Robert Lowell thought everyone was tired of his turmoil, but he obviously wasn’t thinking ahead to the possibilities he and his fellow scribblers presented to the movie business. You can only imagine the film gurus and movie execs surveying the poetscape of the twentieth century with nods of excited approval, foaming about their mouths. Drink, adultery, jealousy, madness, suicide: who knew poets led such cinematic lives!

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Post image for Short Films by Jonas Mekas Surface Online [UPDATED]

In light of yesterday’s shocking news that avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas is suing art dealer Harry Stendhal for a supposed swindle, I wanted to share one positive highlight of the business relationship between Stendhal and Mekas that just surfaced online … 14 short films, which include three episodes of his 365 web project from 2007 and 11 from the 40 Short Films release in 2006. UPDATE: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, I learned that ALL the 365 web videos are on an newer Jonas Mekas site that doesn’t seem to show up on individual video searches. ENJOY ALL 40 SHORT FILMS AND ALL 365 VIDEOS AT THANK YOU, ANONYMOUS COMMENTER!

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Post image for Allen Ginsberg’s Beat Photographs on Display

I had no idea renowned beat poet Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was an avid amateur photographer. A current exhibition of his black and white snapshots are on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and they are annotated by Ginsberg himself, who rediscovered his early photos (made between 1953 and 1963) in the 1980s.

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