Who was Louis Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg (Born June 3, 1926 in Paterson, New Jersey, † April 5, 1997 in New York City) was an American poet of the Beat Generation.

1 life and work

Ginsberg was born to Naomi and Louis Ginsberg. The mother was a committed communist. She became increasingly mentally ill and eventually died. The father, also a politically active teacher, persuaded the son to start studying law at Columbia University. Here Ginsberg met Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Neal Cassady, who had an influence on Ginsberg's work to the detriment of their studies.

Ginsberg's poetry was shaped by classical modernism, but also by romanticism, jazz as well as by his Buddhist faith and his Jewish origins. Homosexuality, which he confessed to at an early age, political left-wing to anarchist engagement, as well as Zen, yoga and mind-altering drugs also had an impact on his work. Ginsberg himself also named William Blake and Walt Whitman as major influences. The most important of his mentors and patrons, however, was the poet William Carlos Williams, who helped Ginsberg decisively in finding his own poetic voice. His best-known work is the long poem Howl, which established his fame and which caused a scandal in 1956 because many Ginsberg's language seemed obscene at the time - which led to the poem being temporarily banned and the publisher and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti arrested. The ban led to an important campaign in the struggle for artistic freedom; eventually a judge lifted the ban. Ginsberg was friends with the musician Bob Dylan. Both worked together on a series of settings of a selection of Ginsberg's poems and often exchanged artistic ideas. In 1977 the two contributed backing vocals to a piece on Leonard Cohen's album Death of a Ladies' Man.

In later years Allen Ginsberg was a Buddhist and a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, whom he met by chance in New York. He subsequently taught at Naropa University in Boulder (Colorado), which was founded by Trungpa Rinpoche.

2 works

3 literature

4 web links

Allen Ginsberg link collection on the Hamburg education server