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The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder
     

The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

by Gary Snyder, Bill Morgan, Allen Ginsberg
 

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One of the central relationships in the Beat scene was the long-lasting friendship of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Ginsberg introduced Snyder to the East Coast Beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, while Snyder himself became the model for the serious poet that Ginsberg so wanted to become. Snyder encouraged Ginsberg to explore the beauty of the West Coast and,

Overview

One of the central relationships in the Beat scene was the long-lasting friendship of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Ginsberg introduced Snyder to the East Coast Beat writers, including Jack Kerouac, while Snyder himself became the model for the serious poet that Ginsberg so wanted to become. Snyder encouraged Ginsberg to explore the beauty of the West Coast and, even more lastingly, introduced Ginsberg to Buddhism, the subject of so many long letter exchanges between them. Beginning in 1956 and continuing through 1991, the two men exchanged more than 850 letters. Bill Morgan, Ginsberg’s biographer and an important editor of his papers, has selected the most significant correspondence from this long friendship. The letters themselves paint the biographical and poetic portraits of two of America’s most important—and most fascinating—poets. Robert Hass’ insightful introduction discusses the lives of these two major poets and their enriching and moving relationship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

This sparkling collection of letters between Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg offers enthusiasts an intimate glimpse of the poets' shared vision of creativity, spiritualism, and their work, as well as literary and sexual adventures from across the globe. In vivid prose that makes the infamous Yage Letters (between Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs) seem juvenile, these legendary Americans reveal a stunning amount, sharing both innermost doubts and grand career aspirations. Ginsberg's voice often feels more authentic, with a natural story-teller's zeal for conveying the racy details of his personal life; he also exposes the paranoia and crushing self-doubt that forever plagued him. Snyder, while earthy and open, often veers towards metaphysical subjects and writes more cautiously, as if aware of his legacy even in these pre-fame days. Though it's a small miracle so many letters survived the writers' extensive travel, gaps in the chronology may frustrate some readers. Still, the decades-spanning dialogue never fails to entertain or offer deeper insight into the artists' process. ("No wire or pill will ever put a poet out of work," Snyder insists.) Filled with the sort of high-minded yearning for knowledge that Ginsberg and Snyder are known for, this volume presents a thrilling opportunity to eavesdrop on two of the most intriguing American poets-and personalities-of the 20th Century.
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From the Publisher

“To read their letters . . . is to overhear the evolution of a remarkable friendship and the birth of a literary flowering we know as the Beat movement.” —San Francisco Chronicle

"Allen Ginsberg was the poet laureate of the Beat Generation . . . As much through the strength of his own irrepressible personality as through his poetry, Mr. Ginsberg provided a bridge between the Underground and the Transcendental." —New York Times

"Reading [Snyder], you encounter a massive, assimilating intelligence, with a startling command of natural and human history." —New Yorker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582439631
Publisher:
Counterpoint Press
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
622 KB

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