Unformatted text preview: Chief Works Howl, Ginsberg's Dantean masterwork, dominated the poet's canon to his last years and formed a catechism for young bohemians in search of a mentor and mythmaker. In old age, he wished aloud that he had the vigor to start again and denounce more recent government repression with Howl II. A dynamic sermon composed in Old Testament rhythms, rich active verbs, explicit nouns, and ordinary speech, the original Howl condemns authoritarians for forcing the fringe, later called beatniks or hippies, into subhumanity. He anchored his furor on a shared experience with Carl Solomon, whom he met while both were receiving insulin shock treatment for mental illness at Columbia Presbyterian Psychiatric Institution. The shock factor of astonishing juxtapositions — for example, the hungry figure plunging under a meat truck in search of an egg; boxcar bums traveling toward "grandfather...
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- Fall '08
- Chief Works Howl, original Howl condemns, bag boys. Ginsberg, recent government repression, intersperses jubilant acts, insulin shock treatment