Beat Poetry

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When Allen Ginsberg's long poem Howl was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Press in 1956, it marked a decisive change in American post-war poetry. Its sexual explicitness, vivid depiction of drug addiction, and exploration of religious experience as well as its vocal protest against the social conservatism of the Eisenhower era served as the focal point of what Jack Kerouac had labeled the -beat generation" in the late 1940s: a group of writers congregating mostly in San Francisco whose writings represented countercultural views on American culture. Besides Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, and Kerouac, these writers included Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, Michael McClure, Robert Creeley, Philip Whalen, Diana di Prima, Denise Levertov, and side figures like Leroi Jones. The objectives of this course are threefold: Our main objective is to conduct extended close readings of poetic structures and devices in works such as -Howl," -A Supermarket in California," -Kaddish" (Ginsberg)," I Am Waiting" (Ferlinghetti), -Mexico City Blues" (Kerouac), and -Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note" (Jones), etc. Our second aim is to study these poems as performances, for instance through sound recordings of historical readings and recitations accompanied by jazz musicians. Our final aim is to place the poetry of the beat generation in the wider context of American literary and cultural production.

Carmela Ciuraru, ed., Beat Poets (Everyman's Pocket Poets, 2002): ISBN-13: 978-0-375-41332-2 or ISBN-10: 0375413324 (approx. 12 Euros). All other material will be made available on the course moodle. Seminar für Anglistik Beachten Sie, dass Sie diesen Kurs nach den Prüfungsordnungen ab 2011 nicht besuchen dürfen, wenn Sie die für dieses Modulelement laut Fachspezifischen Bestimmungen und Modulhandbuch notwendigen Voraussetzungen noch nicht erfüllen. Universität Siegen WiSe 2014/15 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stein Daniel