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Howl on trial : the battle for free expression

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3513.I74 H634 2006
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3513.I74 H634 2006
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS3513.I74 H634 2006
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PS3513.I74 H634 2006
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 811 GINSBERG Allen How
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  811 GINSBERG Allen How

To celebrate the 50th anniversary ofHowl and Other Poems, with nearly one million copies in print, City Lights presents the story of editing, publishing and defending Allen Ginsberg's landmark poem within a broader context of obscenity issues and censorship of literary works.

This collection begins with an introduction by publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who shares his memories of hearingHowl first read at the 6 Gallery, of his arrest and of the subsequent legal defense ofHowl's publication. Never-before-published correspondence of Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti, Kerouac, Gregory Corso, John Hollander, Richard Eberhart and others provides an in-depth commentary on the poem's ethical intent and its social significance to the author and his contemporaries. A section on the public reaction to the trial includes newspaper reportage, op-ed pieces by Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti and letters to the editor from the public, which provide fascinating background materialon the cultural climate of the mid-1950s. A timeline of literary censorship in the United States places this battle for free expression in a historical context.

Also included are photographs, transcripts of relevant trial testimony, Judge Clayton Horn's decision and its ramifications and a long essay by Albert Bendich, the ACLU attorney who defendedHowl on constitutional grounds. Editor Bill Morgan discusses more recent challenges toHowl in the late 1980s and how the fight against censorship continues today in new guises.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "For the 50th anniversary of the publication of Allen Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems, the poet's archivist and biographer Morgan and City Lights publisher Peters, and City Lights was Howl's original publisher) have assembled this intermittently fascinating collection of documents, mostly related to the book's obscenity trial in San Francisco in 1957. These documents provides a coherent narrative of the composition of the poem, as well as the prosecution of publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and one of his City Lights employees and their eventual exoneration. The poet's letters discussing the publication of his book are often illuminating, particularly the massive letter to John Hollander that dissects every element of Howl, but not all the correspondence is equally interesting. Similarly, the lengthy trial transcript is entertaining at times, but would have benefited from being rendered into prose and excerpted appropriately. The book is certainly useful as a reference tool for those researching Ginsberg or obscenity law, and will interest Ginsberg completists, but this isn't a smooth read for a general audience. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Ginsberg, Allen, -- 1926-1997. -- Howl.
Ginsberg, Allen, -- 1926-1997 -- Censorship.
Censorship -- United States -- History.
Trials (Obscenity) -- California -- San Francisco.
Publisher San Francisco :City Lights Books,2006
Contributors Morgan, Bill, 1949-
Peters, Nancy J. (Nancy Joyce)
Language English
Description xiv, 224 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 0872864790
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