Sunday, October 03, 2004
Beat writing never attracted me, so I've been late catching up to a lot of it. Ginsberg isn't to my taste particularly. I feel Pound's commentary on Whitman (in "Pact") sums up my attitude towards Ginsberg, tho I think I am more favourably inclined towards AG than Pound was to Whitman. I can't really comment on Corso, have read so little. I remembe my surprise at how non-edgy "Marriage" was, tho a terrific poem. I didn't expect Coros to be so sentimental. I know I read Ferlinghetti in high school but remember zero about his work. ah well, City Lights Books is a good legacy. Snyder I've read quite a bit of and appreciate his sense of the world but his poetry seems 2nd rate. Whalen's poetry doesn't seem particularly good either but I admire his persistence. I remember nothing of whatever I've read of Di Prima. my forgetting says more about me as a reader, I'm really just noting that nothing leapt out at me when I read. gee, I haven't read enough Kyger but like her writing considerably. she seems like the solidest citizen of the lot. I'm fond of Lew Welch (he ran the 440 in 49 seconds!). his dalliance with zen is entirely hopeful in a way that provides a tension to his work. because he was so fucked up, yet this urge towards something... both Whalen and Snyder are mushy in their zenness. On The Road struck me as rather boring. anyway, I read it about 20 years after the window closed for hitchhiking cross country and like. I liked Visions of Cody, which doesn't seem as prosaic as OTR. I liked Cassady's The First Third, more for sociological purposes, the world he describes. and him showing up with the Pranksters is cool in a wistful crazy way, tho he writes clearly and 'well'. he had to play out this story. Burroughs I find engrossing for his commitment to whatever the hell it is, his crazy ass drugged, wrenched, drowning. Rimbaud of a different era. or maybe Céline, who I've not read but have Death on the Installemnt Plan in view here where I sit. I don't know what these sentences prove as I write them. Burroughs contends with language and the world in a way that most of the other Beats don't, really. that's of interest. I feel I should apologize for my poor reading.