Saturday, May 22, 2004

amateurs in a professional universe

Summer, 1977. Naropa Institute, Boulder Colorado. Allen Ginsberg assigns Celestial Homework to his students, a reading list of modern and 'antient scriveners' whose writings influenced the Beat generation. The site has links to online versions of many of the works, which run from Antonin Artaud to Williams Blake, Burroughs, Shakespeare, Carlos Williams, and Butler Yeats, through Emily and Ezra and Edgar to Rimbaud, Cocteau, and Shiloh, Kerouac, Kafka and Keats. I remember that same year, having exhausted the rest of the bookshelves in the house, stumbling upon Kerouac and Ginsberg's books in my father's study and realizing that maybe the best we have to offer the universe in exchange for our tenancy here is the uniqueness of our point of view.