Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Paradox of Howl - The anti-establishment poem's debt to the established past. By Stephen Burt

Ginsberg once called the poem "an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding in U.S. consciousness in case our military-industrial-nationalist complex solidified." So it has been. In order to make his great anti-establishment poem, Ginsberg had to assimilate much of the established, European, literary past—the same past so many young readers can now avoid, thanks in part to the focus on the relevant, the contemporary, and the immediate that Ginsberg's fiery, irreverent example, "yaketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks," helped to usher into American culture.more...


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