Monday, November 13, 2006

If you're a fan of the Beats and you managed to miss Bill Morgan's talk in Chapel Hill last week, you might be interested in The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice, a collection of Allen Ginsberg's first journals and poems, just published this month.

The original typewritten draft of Ginsberg's journals, my daughter informed me over the weekend, happens to be on her desk in Rare Books at Wilson Library. I didn't know that when I accepted an advanced reading copy of the journals from the publisher last month; R. hadn't mentioned the Beats since her stint as a guardian of the Kerouac scrolls last fall and I'd just assumed the collection would be one I could pass on to her once I'd finished with it. Since she's already very familar with it, knowing exactly where to look for his "Mooselini" reference, I certainly won't need to rush.

But even though it may take awhile before I get around to more than a dip in here or there, I have perused most of Ginsberg's reading lists. It seemed odd to find Story of Dr. Dolittle nestled between D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, and my daughter didn't have any inside information on why Hugh Lofting would be the only children's author Ginsberg appeared to read as an adult; maybe I'll have a better idea once I actually read the journals.

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