more on beat choice by Shawn

To: (Kirsten Thorpe)
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 14:20:20 -0500 (EST)
Precedence: bulk

> Al:
> This is the issue of the day. Do the beats seem to think that their
> language is natural? Is it possible to do what Kerouac wants--
>                       to refuse selectivity of expression  ...?
> Kirsten:
> But, this is very different from a total lack of selectivity of language
> at the nuts and bolts level.  Ginsberg says what he wants despite any
> societal constraints, but he chooses how to say what he is saying. It's
> not stream-of-consciousness, there's a theme here and there is a
> regularized structure and rhythm created by the "who's" (which do work
> fantastically like breaths, by the way)

Hi, Kirsten.

I'm interested in this issue of choice.  What does it mean to derive
line-length from breath-length?  Does that affect how much choice one has?

I'm also interested in the next-to-last footnote on p.1215, the one which
quotes Ginsberg describing parts of Howl as an homage to Cezanne's
methods.  "Just as Cezanne doesn't use perspective lines to create space,
but it's a juxtaposition of one color against another color ... so, I had
the idea, perhaps over-refined, that by the unexplainable, unexplained
nonperspective line, that is, juxtaposition of one word against another,
... there'd be a gap between the two words which the mind would fill in
with the sensation of existence... And that actually compresses in one
instant like a whole series of things."  He quotes his own examples
("hydrogen jukebox").  How does such an over-refined theory fit in with
all this?  (Good thing he wasn't expelled from Harvard *too* soon.)


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