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Post 1


welcome to h2g2. I just joined a few days ago, too...did a search of other newbies and your nick sounded interesting. I've read Howl. I remember going to a ready by Allen Ginsberg at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, USA back in the 60s (yeah, I'm that old to remember) an SRO crowd; infact I had to listen over loudspeaker. I'll be keen on knowing what you think about the Ginsberg/Burroughs letters. Don't know any of your music groups you listed....what/who are they? Right now I've discovered Travis, Starsailor and Charlatans UK groups.


Post 2


hi there, thanks for the message. I have only relatively recently discovered Ginsbergs work and it is a real revelation. I have always been a fan of poetry, but mostly very english poets such as Phillip Larkin and John Betjeman, I also like Yeats even if his use of imagery can be (for me) a bit heavy at times. Ginsbergs use of the now, and the real, is similar to the poetry of Betjeman or Larkin, but there is a much more fresh, youthful air to them which Betjeman and larkin both lack, i think it comes down to life experience, both the British peots were very acedemic in the rather staid ox-bridge sense meansing that they did tend to have a world view which was rooted very firmly in the early half of the 20th century, Ginsbergs work is far more forward looking and feels more relevant.

As for the Yage letters they are a less cloudy insight into the psyche of Burrows than his novels, but the great story telling is there as he recounts his adventures and his thoughts to the (young) Ginsberg. There is no hint of Burrows finding himself, I think that Burrows may always have been someone who knew where he was no matter how hard he appeared to be looking to others, and there is an air of depression to the letters where perhaps the normally so self-reliant burrows is sad to see all the decay and waste he does on his travels and is perhaps lonely and writing to ginsberg for some comfort. It could also have been some sort of on-going dperession brought about by the lack of good junk which Burrows bemoans several times. I have not got the part of the book that is Ginsberg's letters to Burrows when on his own South American odyssey.However, at the moment I can throughly recommend this book to anyone who has read and enjoyed Burrows other work.

The bands that I have listed are a mixed bag. Tortoise hail from Chicago and are an instrumental group, a kind of jazz-rock combination very chilled out, probably get pidgeon-holed as Math-rock rather bizarrely. Sterolab are an Indie band from Engalnd/France with a healthy slab of melodic funk thrown into their indie-pop mix. plenty of guitar and Keyboard, you may like these if you like the Charlatans, give 'Emporer Tomato Ketchup' a listen if you get the opportunity, a very good album of theirs. The Tindersticks hail from the United Kingdom and do a good line in croony (is that a word? well it is now. it means 'in the style of a crooner')sad pop/rock songs, a good album to start with would be 'Donkeys' which is a singles/rarities collection. This has a fantastic duet with Isabella Rosselini on it which is worth the price of the album alone.

Good long message, hope you don't get too bored reading it.


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