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Allen Ginsberg’s Hand-Annotated Photos of the Beat Generation
January 13, 2013 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Hand-Annotated Photos of the Beat Generation. Twenty Five photos from Allen Ginsberg

via
posted by Sailormom (19 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh. You rock, indeed you do.
posted by infini at 5:36 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really, really incredible stuff. Thank you so much.
posted by kbanas at 6:13 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Warning for iPhone users: the flavorwire link just caused the worst freeze/crash of the device I've ever seen.
posted by iotic at 6:41 AM on January 13, 2013


Man, compare the Kerouac of #15 to the one of #9 and your heart just sinks... it's the look of a man who had drained his veins for the pen & typewriter ink and had taken every drink ever handed to him to fill them back up... and that's what's left after.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:15 AM on January 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the picture of Kerouc sitting in the chair, grimacing, looking so goddamn old... it hurts to look at it. The caption is even more painful.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:30 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are awesome. A glimpse back to a time and a group of people who had astounding influence, and the annotations are just so very Ginsberg.

Also, bravo flavorwire for giving the option to view the whole set as a single page rather than 25 separate slides.
posted by hippybear at 7:31 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you.
posted by tigrefacile at 7:32 AM on January 13, 2013


When that "old" photo was taken, Kerouac was 42.
posted by nev at 7:37 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Snapshot Poetics is a nice an affordable collection of these photos.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:30 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, bravo flavorwire for giving the option to view the whole set as a single page rather than 25 separate slides.

Yeah, that was supposed to be my link, I just got a little excited I guess.

Here they are on one page
posted by Sailormom at 9:16 AM on January 13, 2013


That 3rd picture, with Cassady caught with his dame of the moment between plan and jewel is just perfect.
posted by Catblack at 11:09 AM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never been a big fan of the Beats, but it's fascinating to get an inside glimpse of a such a storied coterie, from their POV.
posted by smirkette at 1:20 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the post.

Burroughs and Alene Lee (Subterraneans muse mentioned in #21).
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:37 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


When that "old" photo was taken, Kerouac was 42.

Old (though years younger than I am now), broken, confused, self-loathing and desperately alcoholic, yes. Poor Jack.

But man, 'corpulent'? Not by today's standards, at least. That was just mean, Allen.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:33 PM on January 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the impressions I gathered simply by the occasional walk down to City Lights, Allen had a mean streak. I could, most certainly, be wrong.
posted by infini at 9:06 PM on January 13, 2013


erm, I mean from what people said about him. I'm not that old.
posted by infini at 9:57 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of the things that's most striking about this collection of photos is that on the one hand, Ginsberg's captions reveal that the Beats as a social group weren't that unlike the social group of writers I know in New York (writing style and quality not being compared here) - same kinds of interactions, same kinds of candid moments, etc, but on he other hand, there's a glaring difference - that being that every one of the writers and artists in Ginsberg's circle was a white man. Were someone to take a bunch of photos of any of the various literary circles in New York today, even amongst the most wasp-y bunch like the NYU and Columbia MFA grads, they'd find that there are way more women and people of color writing and finding success as writers, and that the social circles of white men, women, and people of color are much more integrated in general, which, much as I enjoy the Beats, I think is a very heartening development.
posted by eustacescrubb at 11:43 PM on January 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, Ginsberg got the best looking guys. Burroughs looks handsome as always in all of these, but then I got to the shot of a young Orlovsky, and the guy was breathtakingly gorgeous.

And yeah, not many women or people of color in these shots specifically, but both Joan Vollmer and Alene Lee were important among the beats.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:23 AM on January 14, 2013


both Joan Vollmer and Alene Lee were important among the beats

For sure; I only meant that things have changed enough that white men don't make up a majority of poets any more - for example, in this collection of photos of New York poets only 20 of the 86 people pictured here are white men.
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:09 AM on January 14, 2013


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