GROUP 3A, ENGLISH-AMERICAN STUDIES
ALLEN GINSBERG, ¡§HOWL¡¨ AND THE LITERATURE OF PROTEST
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was an important figure in the Beat Generation Movement that took place right before the revolutionary American 60¡¦s. Other major beat writers (also called ¡§beatnicks¡¨) were: Gregory Corso, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs. The beat poetry was meant to be oral and very effective in readings. It developed out of poetry readings in underground clubs.(a beautiful image of these secret clubs can be found in the movie called ¡§Dead Poet¡¦s Society¡¨ with Robin Williams playing the main character). Some argued that it was the grandparent of rap music. The term ¡§Beat Generation¡¨ was coined by Kerouac in the fall of the 1948 in New York City. The word ¡§beat¡¨ referred loosely to their shared sense of spiritual exhaustion and diffuse feelings of rebellion against what they experienced as the general conformity, hypocrisy and materialism of a larger society around them caught up in he unprecedented prosperity of postwar America.
The beat poetry was the most anticanon form of literature in the United States. The poetry is a cry of pain and rage, a howl at what the poets see as the loss of America¡¦s innocence and as a tragic waste.
Allen Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey. His parents were second generation Russian- Jewish immigrants, left-wing radicals interested in Marxism, nudism, feminism, generally in the modern revolutionary ideas of his times. This background certainly did influence his evolution as a revolutionary poet. His father, Louis Ginsberg, was a teacher and a poet, whose work was published in New York Times. During Ginsberg¡¦s childhood, his mother, Naomi Ginsberg, started to suffer from paranoia. She was institutionalized and eventually lobotomized. She died in an asylum in 1956. her life is the subject one Allen¡¦s poem entitled ¡§Kaddish¡¨ and which was written as a compensation of her... [continues]
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