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Family Business: Two Lives In Letters And Poetry

by Allen Ginsberg, Louis Ginsberg
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publishing date: 22/09/2001
  • Language: Français
  • ISBN-13: 9781582341071
  • ISBN: 1582341079

Synopsis

A touching look into the heart and family of one of America's greatest poets. As a literary portrait of a father and son, little can match the eloquence and honesty of this collection of letters, written between the years 1944 and 1976. The illuminating correspondence between Allen Ginsberg and his father, Louis, begins when Allen is a precocious, rebellious college student and charts his ascension as a revolutionary icon in poetry. Their letters are filled with affection, respect, and a healthy dose of argumentative zeal-they debate every major political and artistic issue that faced America in over three decades of extraordinary change. Their correspondence also reveals the defining moments that shaped Allen's art-his experimentation with LSD, his various love affairs and obsessions, his travels around the globe.We see, from this unique perspective, the crucial process of a poet's widening experience of the world, and how these experiences are translated into his art. Family Business is not only a personal glimpse into one of our great poets, but also a very moving story of a relationship between a father and a son set against the turbulent world of postwar America. AUTHORBIO: Michael Schumacher wrote Dharma Lion, the acclaimed biography of Allen Ginsberg, and is also the author of the biographies of Eric Clapton, Phil Ochs, and Francis Ford Coppola. He's been researching Family Business since 1994, when Ginsberg first agreed to the project.

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  • A Poetic Conversation Across the Generation Gap
    From Amazon

    Allen Ginsberg used to joke that poetry was "the family business." These letters between the late author of "Howl" and his poet-father, Louis, are more than a series of poignant exchanges between conservative father and Beat son. They comprise a 30-year conversation between conflicting ideas of the role of poetic tradition in making sense of the difficult world. Allen calls for a "full-scale revolution" in poetry, while Louis - a philosophically minded punster who wrote in rhymed couplets - coyly observes that Allen's comrades seem to think they have "invented honesty."

    As the landmark events of the 20th Century unfold around them (the Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and explosive confrontations in the Middle East), they strive to find a common ground in their craft. The elder Ginsberg's tolerance is tested by his son's rebellion. Louis instructs Allen to "exorcise" his muse Neal Cassady as a destructive influence, and he's outraged when his son's longtime companion, Peter Orlovsky, is listed as Allen's "spouse" in Who's Who. Along the way, Allen's fame as the bearded paterfamilias of the flower-power generation grows, and he becomes the most trusted critic of his father's work. Louis comes to recognize that poems like his son's "Kaddish" - a shockingly frank portrayal of Allen's mother Naomi - pointed the way to the future of the art.

    Poet Louis Untermeyer once remarked to Louis, "You are good for Allen, and he is good for you." Tracing their journey toward a shared conviction that poetry has the power to change history makes Family Business important reading for us all.

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