Kerouac against selectivity (per Kirsten)


>      SCOPING - Not "selectivity' of expression but following
>      free deviation (association) of mind into limitless
>      blow-on-subject seas of thought, swimming in sea of
>      English with no discipline other than rhythms of rhetorical
>      exhalation and expostulated statement, like a fist coming
>      down on a table with each complete utterance, bang!
>      (the space dash)-Blow as deep as you want-write as
>      deeply, fish as far down as you want, satisfy yourself
>      first, then reader cannot fail to receive telepathic shock
>      and meaning-excitement by same laws operating in his
>      own human mind.


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  ...?


Compared to the societal standard of the day, the idea of refusing
selectivity of expression is very much present in Howl in a thematic
sense.  It was radical to be raving about the things that are present in
this poem in the fifties--drugs, mental illness, suicide, sexual freedom.
This definitely blows the tea party away, and in that sense the
selectivity of what could and couldn't be said is wiped out.

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)

The language doesn't hold back or restrain, Ginsberg says as much as he
wants about what he wants to say, but the choice of words, the utterances
are restrained by what he wants to say...he's not just choosing them at
random.  There more than one issue of being selective about expression at
work here, and I don't think Kerouac or Ginsburg was as tied up in the
linguistic as they were in the social.

Hope that makes sense,


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