Printer Friendly

Black Looks: Race and Representation.

The title is obscure, referring to Ginsberg's Buddhist name, the subtitle misleading, since this biography is more complimentary than critical. But from there on, the book moves along. Schumacher does a competent, for-the-most-part unobtrusive job of telling Ginsberg's story - and such a story it is. This leader of the Beats, this pathbreaker of political poetry, this courageous critic of U.S. policy foreign and domestic, this for-decades-most-open of homosexuals in America, Ginsberg is here on display, and he bears up well under scrutiny. The long biography occasionally bogs down when tracking Ginsberg's numerous trips overseas, but it comes alive when chronicling Ginsberg's creative process in the making of "Howl," "Kaddish," "Wichita Vortex Sutra," and other masterpieces. For fullest appreciation, this work should be read alongside Ginsberg's Collected Poems (Harper & Row, 1984), since none of Ginsberg's poems is reprinted in its entirety in the biography and no amount of prose can capture or replace the power and passion of the verse itself. Still, this is an informative, sometimes fascinating account of one of the most important American poets of the century and one of our more courageous dissidents.
COPYRIGHT 1993 The Progressive, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Previous Article:The Movie of the Week: Private Stories, Public Events.
Next Article:Lack of confidence.

Related Articles
New Essays on 'Their Eyes Were Watching God.'
White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture.
A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America.
Style, not Substance.
Black Venus: Sexualized Savages, Primal Fears, and Primitive Narratives in French.
Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America. (nonfiction reviews).
Masks: Blackness, Race and the Imagination.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters