Catalogue

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American scream [electronic resource] : Allen Ginsberg's Howl and the making of the Beat Generation /
Jonah Raskin.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
description
xxv, 295 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0520240154 (pbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2004.
isbn
0520240154 (pbk. : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8837402
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-262) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jonah Raskin is Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Sonoma State University
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Jonah Raskin's American Scream adds to the ever-growing fact and fiction of the Allen Ginsberg persona. All Ginsberg addicts will have to have this book for adulation and reassessment."--Lawrence Ferlinghetti "The view of beat America from the middle distance has grown all too familiar over the years, but Jonah Raskin gives us something fresh: an exciting close-up of its pivotal masterwork. He shows us America at the moment of Howl's genesis, an America in turmoil, with its atom bombs and erotic anxieties and incipient alternatives, and gets at the uneasy relationship between nation and poem."--Rebecca Solnit, author of Secret Exhibition: Six California Artists of the Cold War Era "Howl remains a genuinely magical poem, not least because its profoundly subversive power has enticed a significant part of several generations into reading it. American Scream does a superb job of setting the story of its creation and reception in a rich historical context. In so doing, Jonah Raskin illuminates much of American art and culture in the second half of the 20th century, and the visionary, contradictory, wonderful soul that was Allen Ginsberg."--Dennis McNally, author of Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America "Like an Olympic marksman, with steady and unwaivering focus, Raskin has set his sights on what is without doubt the most influential poem of the second half of the twentieth century. When Ginsberg read the poem in public for the first time in 1955 it was clear that he hit the bull's eye, as has Raskin with his brilliant study."--Bill Morgan, author of The Beat Generation in San Francisco
Flap Copy
"Jonah Raskin's American Scream adds to the ever-growing fact and fiction of the Allen Ginsberg persona. All Ginsberg addicts will have to have this book for adulation and reassessment."--Lawrence Ferlinghetti "The view of beat America from the middle distance has grown all too familiar over the years, but Jonah Raskin gives us something fresh: an exciting close-up of its pivotal masterwork. He shows us America at the moment of Howl's genesis, an America in turmoil, with its atom bombs and erotic anxieties and incipient alternatives, and gets at the uneasy relationship between nation and poem."--Rebecca Solnit, author of Secret Exhibition: Six California Artists of the Cold War Era " Howl remains a genuinely magical poem, not least because its profoundly subversive power has enticed a significant part of several generations into reading it. American Scream does a superb job of setting the story of its creation and reception in a rich historical context. In so doing, Jonah Raskin illuminates much of American art and culture in the second half of the 20th century, and the visionary, contradictory, wonderful soul that was Allen Ginsberg."--Dennis McNally, author of Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America "Like an Olympic marksman, with steady and unwaivering focus, Raskin has set his sights on what is without doubt the most influential poem of the second half of the twentieth century. When Ginsberg read the poem in public for the first time in 1955 it was clear that he hit the bull's eye, as has Raskin with his brilliant study."--Bill Morgan, author of The Beat Generation in San Francisco
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-04-15:
Raskin (For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman) here studies Howl as it nears its 50th anniversary in 2006. He sees the poem as a response to the Cold War, a spontaneous work that ushered both Ginsberg and the world out of the closet of a repressive 1950s society. Using unpublished sources from Stanford University, Raskin documents Ginsberg's debt to T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden-early influences not generally acknowledged by other critics. He also explores the poet's treatment of madness, drawing on Ginsberg's psychiatric records and an interview with Dr. Philip Hickes, the young therapist who gave Ginsberg permission to embrace his homosexuality and pursue his vocation as a poet. Finally, Raskin discusses Howl's stormy reception, its rise to classic status, and the fame it conferred on Ginsberg and the Beat movement. An excellent study of the poem in the context of its time and culture; highly recommended.-William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, March 2004
Library Journal, April 2004
PW Annex Reviews, April 2004
San Francisco Chronicle, April 2004
San Francisco Chronicle, December 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Written as a cultural weapon and a call to arms, Howl touched a raw nerve in Cold War America and has been controversial from the day it was first read aloud nearly fifty years ago. This first full critical and historical study of Howl brilliantly elucidates the nexus of politics and literature in which it was written and gives striking new portraits of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. Drawing from newly released psychiatric reports on Ginsberg, from interviews with his psychiatrist, Dr. Philip Hicks, and from the poet's journals, American Scream shows how Howl brought Ginsberg and the world out of the closet of a repressive society. It also gives the first full accounting of the literary figures--Eliot, Rimbaud, and Whitman--who influenced Howl, definitively placing it in the tradition of twentieth-century American poetry for the first time. As he follows the genesis and the evolution of Howl, Jonah Raskin constructs a vivid picture of a poet and an era. He illuminates the development of Beat poetry in New York and San Francisco in the 1950s--focusing on historic occasions such as the first reading of Howl at Six Gallery in San Francisco in 1955 and the obscenity trial over the poem's publication. He looks closely at Ginsberg's life, including his relationships with his parents, friends, and mentors, while he was writing the poem and uses this material to illuminate the themes of madness, nakedness, and secrecy that pervade Howl. A captivating look at the cultural climate of the Cold War and at a great American poet, American Scream finally tells the full story of Howl--a rousing manifesto for a generation and a classic of twentieth-century literature.
Main Description
Written as a cultural weapon and a call to arms, "Howl "touched a raw nerve in Cold War America and has been controversial from the day it was first read aloud nearly fifty years ago. This first full critical and historical study of "Howl "brilliantly elucidates the nexus of politics and literature in which it was written and gives striking new portraits of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. Drawing from newly released psychiatric reports on Ginsberg, from interviews with his psychiatrist, Dr. Philip Hicks, and from the poets journals, "American Scream "shows how "Howl "brought Ginsberg and the world out of the closet of a repressive society. It also gives the first full accounting of the literary figures-Eliot, Rimbaud, and Whitman-who influenced "Howl, "definitively placing it in the tradition of twentieth-century American poetry for the first time. As he follows the genesis and the evolution of "Howl, "Jonah Raskin constructs a vivid picture of a poet and an era. He illuminates the development of Beat poetry in New York and San Francisco in the 1950s--focusing on historic occasions such as the first reading of "Howl "at Six Gallery in San Francisco in 1955 and the obscenity trial over the poems publication. He looks closely at Ginsbergs life, including his relationships with his parents, friends, and mentors, while he was writing the poem and uses this material to illuminate the themes of madness, nakedness, and secrecy that pervade "Howl." A captivating look at the cultural climate of the Cold War and at a great American poet, "American Scream "finally tells the full story of "Howl"-a rousing manifesto for a generation and a classic of twentieth-century literature.
Main Description
Written as a cultural weapon and a call to arms, Howl touched a raw nerve in Cold War America and has been controversial from the day it was first read aloud nearly fifty years ago. This first full critical and historical study of Howl brilliantly elucidates the nexus of politics and literature in which it was written and gives striking new portraits of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. Drawing from newly released psychiatric reports on Ginsberg, from interviews with his psychiatrist, Dr. Philip Hicks, and from the poet's journals, American Scream shows how Howl brought Ginsberg and the world out of the closet of a repressive society. It also gives the first full accounting of the literary figures--Eliot, Rimbaud, and Whitman--who influenced Howl, definitively placing it in the tradition of twentieth-century American poetry for the first time. As he follows the genesis and the evolution of Howl, Jonah Raskin constructs a vivid picture of a poet and an era. He illuminates the development of Beat poetry in New York and San Francisco in the 1950s--focusing on historic occasions such as the first reading of Howl at Six Gallery in San Francisco in 1955 and the obscenity trial over the poem's publication. He looks closely at Ginsberg's life, including his relationships with his parents, friends, and mentors, while he was writing the poem and uses this material to illuminate the themes of madness, nakedness, and secrecy that pervade Howl. A captivating look at the cultural climate of the Cold War and at a great American poet, American Scream finally tells the full story of Howl --a rousing manifesto for a generation and a classic of twentieth-century literature.
Unpaid Annotation
A work of bold cultural and historical criticism that shows how Allen Ginsberg transformed the American literary tradition in poetry with his own individual talent and created "Howl," a work of genius that defined and shaped a generation and helped to break the Cold War culture of conformity.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Preface: Allen Ginsberg's Geniusp. xi
Poetickall Bomshellp. 1
Family Businessp. 25
Trilling-esque Sense of "Civilization"p. 44
Juvenescent Savageryp. 65
Just like Russiap. 81
Ladies, We Are Going through Hellp. 104
Another Coast's Apple for the Eyep. 121
Mythological Referencesp. 143
Famous Authorhoodp. 158
This Fiction Named Allen Ginsbergp. 189
Best Mindsp. 209
Notes and Sourcesp. 231
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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