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The dramatic imagery of "Howl": the [naked] bodies of madness

Rodosthenous, George (2005) The dramatic imagery of "Howl": the [naked] bodies of madness. In: Howl for Now. Route Publishing , Pontefract, UK , pp. 53-72. ISBN 1 901927 25 3

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Unlike Arthur Rimbaud who wrote his “A Season in Hell” (1873) when he was only 19 years old, Allen Ginsberg was 29 when he completed his epic poem “Howl” (1956). Both works encapsulate an intense world created by the imagery of words and have inspired and outraged their readers alike. What makes “Howl” relevant to today, 50 years after its first reading, is its honest and personal perspective on life, and its nearly journalistic, but still poetic, approach to depicting a world of madness, deprivation, insanity and jazz. And in that respect, it would be sensible to point out the similarities of Rimbaud’s concerns with those of Ginsberg’s. They both managed to create art that changed the status quo of their times and confessed their nightmares in a way that inspired future generations. Yet there is a stark contrast here: for Rimbaud, “A Season in Hell” was his swan song; fortunately, in the case of Ginsberg, he continued to write for decades longer, until his demise in 1997.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2005 The Author.
Keywords: "Howl",Ginsberg, Rimbaud, Cavafy, naked, jazz, improvisation, bodies, madness
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr George Rodosthenous
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2010 19:03
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Status: Published
Publisher: Route Publishing
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10352

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