Dharma Lion: A Biography of Allen Ginsberg

Overview

Perhaps no poet in the history of America, with the exception of Walt Whitman, has so dominated the popular imagination as has Allen Ginsberg. From the close of World War II to the end of the Cold War, Ginsberg has been in the vanguard of every popular movement; from the emergence of the Beat Generation in the Fifties to the hippie and antiwar movements of the sixties, to the ecology movement and the Buddhist revival of the seventies, Allen Ginsberg has given voice to his generation's spirit in poetry of ...
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Overview

Perhaps no poet in the history of America, with the exception of Walt Whitman, has so dominated the popular imagination as has Allen Ginsberg. From the close of World War II to the end of the Cold War, Ginsberg has been in the vanguard of every popular movement; from the emergence of the Beat Generation in the Fifties to the hippie and antiwar movements of the sixties, to the ecology movement and the Buddhist revival of the seventies, Allen Ginsberg has given voice to his generation's spirit in poetry of astonishing power. Michael Schumacher has spent eight years researching and writing this dramatic biography, with Ginsberg's full cooperation and with access to all his journals and papers, as well as spending thousands of hours interviewing Ginsberg's friends and enemies alike. With the sweep of an epic novel Schumacher tells the story of this quintessentially American poet and his times, with fascinating portraits of such contemporaries as Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and William Burroughs, among many others, along with many rarely seen photographs. This is undoubtedly the most complete portrait we are ever likely to see of one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.

Perhaps no poet in the history of America, with the exception of Whitman, has so dominated the popular imagination as has Allen Ginsberg. Now comes a sweeping biography of one of the most controversial figures in American literature. 16 pages of photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Ray Olson
It's not very critical in the sense of evaluating the great Beat poet's literary achievements. Nor is it critical in the sense of disapproving of its subject--indeed, it's quite the reverse. But it is one whale of a sourcebook for the events of the poet's life and its intersections with the lives of others, especially other writers, beginning with Allen's father, Louis Ginsberg, a gifted minor poet in his own right. After Louis come the entire circle of the Beats, most of the San Francisco renaissance poets, the anti-Vietnam War literati, some of the better-known 1960s rock stars and gay liberationists, and finally, the controversial Tibetan Buddhist leader Chogyam Trungpa, whom Schumacher avers replaced Jack Kerouac as Ginsberg's most influential associate. Writing with Ginsberg's full cooperation, Schumacher has produced a biography that is definitely critical in the sense of being indispensable to the history of post-World War II U.S. culture. That the book suffers from some clumsy prose and more detail than all but Ginsberg's most ardent students could care to know takes little away from its monumentality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312081799
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 2.03 (d)

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