Elit 48 c class 34

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Elit 48 c class 34

  1. 1. ELIT 48C Class 34
  2. 2. Adverse / Averse 0 Adverse means harmful or unfavorable. 0 Adverse reactions to this medication have been noted in 40% of patients. 0 Averse means reluctant or opposed to. 0 He was not averse, however, to taking chances for himself.
  3. 3. Chair Poet?
  4. 4. AGENDA 0 The Beats 0 Postmodernism 0 Style 0 Themes 0 Author Introduction: Allen Ginsberg 0 Howl
  5. 5. The Beats 0 The literary movement called the Beat Generation burst into American consciousness with two books published in the late 1950s. The first, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems (1956), stirred both controversy and an obscenity trial for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who offered copies for sale in his San Francisco bookstore. 0 The second book, Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) had a profound cultural effect when it was published. It was the Beat Generation’s manifesto.
  6. 6. Kerouac Ginsberg Cassidy Ferlinghetti
  7. 7. Forms and Devices
  8. 8. Forms and Devices Q: Is there any kind of a unifying structure holding “Howl” together? Why does Ginsburg use a chaotic verse that has a severe lack of form?
  9. 9. In the first part, according to Ginsberg, he used the repetition of the word “who” to keep the beat. He built “longer and shorter variations on a fixed base,” elaborate images that were written for both their meaning and “the beauty of abstract poetry.” He created energy in “awkward combinations … disparate things put together.” The repeated “who” operates as a ground beneath each “streak of invention.” Ginsberg believed that his “concentration and compression of imagistic notations” such as “hydrogen jukebox” or “bop kaballa” would function like a haiku, in which juxtapositions stimulate the brain to stir connections in burst of energy: he called this “lightning in the mind.” To establish pace, he used “primitive naïve grammar,” which condensed phrases by removing unnecessary words, eliminating “prosey articles” that dampened the rhythm. The goal of his efforts was to “build up large organic structures,” avoiding any loose or dead areas that would leach energy out of the poem.
  10. 10. The second part calls forth the series of images of Moloch— Ginsberg’s ultimate symbol of the evil and damaging forces of the modern world. Each line functions as a separate stanza, the line itself broken into “component short phrases” or “exclamatory units”; the repetition of the word “Moloch” acts as a “rhythmical punctuation.” The section works toward a climax, presenting individual concepts as exclamations (“Dreams! Adorations! Illuminations!”). The conclusion of part 2 is an explosion of energy that sets a mood of abandon stirred by a chant designed to stimulate frenzy.
  11. 11. Part 3, according to Ginsberg, is a “litany of affirmation” that restores the tranquility that the Moloch passages disrupted. Ginsberg’s repetition of a phrase base (“I’m with you in Rockland”) anchors the section; the individual units are surrealistic, and Ginsberg works to express the imaginative, often oblique sense of existence for which Solomon stands. The final unit is purposefully too long for one breath unit, and its textual density is developed to carry the weight of Ginsberg’s last revelation (“where I open out and give the answer”). This final unit has no rigid punctuation device, as if to suggest the beginning of a journey “in the Western night” that replaces the initial journey into nightmare that was introduced as the poem began with animage of “streets at dawn.”
  12. 12. Form Ginsberg thought that his subject (“queer content my parents shouldn’t see”) would probably prohibit publication, so he felt free to compose without preconception or limitation. Guided by what he called his “Hebraic-Melvillian bardic breath”—a version of Old Testament prophetic proclamation, modified by Herman Melville’s conversions of those rhythms into the syntax of American prose narrative—Ginsberg worked out an effective, original formal structure which was completely missed by most critics at the time of publication.
  13. 13. Ginsberg depended on repetition of the word “who” to keep the beat, an approach influenced by Jack Kerouac’s ideas about improvisation akin to modern jazz. He then built “longer and shorter variations on a fixed base,” elaborate images lifting off each basic measure that were written for their meaning as well as “the beauty of abstract poetry” and the latent energy found in “awkward combinations … disparate things put together.” The repeated “who” operates as a ground beneath each “streak of invention,” but even with this technique, Ginsberg worried that it would be difficult to sustain a long line in a long poem. To put “iron poetry back into the line,” Ginsberg believed that his “concentration and compression of imagistic notations” such as “hydrogen jukebox” or “bop kaballa” would function like a haiku, in which juxtapositions encourage the brain to make a connection in a leap of energy, which he called “lightning in the mind.”
  14. 14. Themes 0 Ginsberg’s attention to radical activists, outrageous artists, sexual “deviants,” and experimenters with forbidden substances prefigured the explosion of variance and defiance of the 1960’s. “Howl” presents this nascent counterculture and attempts to explain its meaning and importance, extoll its values, celebrate its moments of beauty, and defend its seemingly aberrant and rebellious behavior. The thrust of the poem is an insistence on the importance of plurality and tolerance as components of an ideal America—an America in which examples of individuality and eccentricity would be accepted so that a society built on greed and materialism might be transformed and redeemed.
  15. 15. Discussion 0What is Howl about?
  16. 16. HOMEWORK 0Reread Howl 0Post #33 QHQ Howl

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