The Beats: celebrating the obscenity of literature
Join me in celebrating the literature of the Beat generation of writers and the 50 year plus link to the literature of blogging.
Both these forms of art celebrate this: words delivered with passion and truth.
On Friday, March 24th, the Beat Museum in San Francisco recreates the infamous 6 Poets at the 6 Gallery Reading.
In the days leading up to October 7, 1955, postcards circulated in San Francisco inscribed with the slogan, "6 poets at 6 Gallery." The Six Gallery was a run-down art gallery at 311 Fillmore Street, and the six poets were: Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder, and one unknown poet from the East Coast, Allen Ginsberg.
Organized by Ginsberg and his good friend Jack Kerouac, the poetry reading became one of the most notorious literary events of the 1950s. Wine flowed freely from jugs and crowds cheered during the reading. It was in this energized atmosphere that the 29-year-old Ginsberg, having published little up to that point, unveiled an early version of his poem, "Howl," to a mesmerized audience whose relentless cheers of "Go! Go! Go!" brought him to tears by the end of the performance. The poem begins:
"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night"
Society's response to Ginsberg's "post" was a trial on obscenity charges, one of several brought against the writers of that era. It's wonderful that words can evoke such a response, and these were apolitical words at that...
Join me in an online beatblog celebration this Friday March 24, 2006. Just Technorati tag your post beatblog and let's see what we get. [Include this link in the body of your post:
Use your imagination, use your instincts, produce something or point to something Beat/Blog-like--and share your experience of being a mortal being. Remember: The Gods envy us because we are mortal :-)
And come along and let's meet up at the Beat Museum at 8pm and/or at Speck's bar (sp?) around the corner off Columbus, after the performance...(and before...) Maybe Speck will tell you about his time with the Beats, Malcolm X, and the rest...he is part of living history.
The Beat Museum
1345 Grant, San Francisco
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Please also see SVW: The new and old Beatnicks celebrate Neal Cassady's birthday
Please also see Evelyn Rodriguez: