Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life. Tom Clark.
Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life

Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life

New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 1991. First Edition. Hardcover. "In 1959 he showed up for a much-touted Harvard appearance of Beat bards Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky. The occasion left him ambivalent over whether the author of HOWL was a real poet or merely a crowd-pleasing publicity hound and "Rowser." In his estimate of Corso he was less uncertain, disdaining the neo-romantic ex-con's verse and falling into a protracted argument with him over post-reading drinks. Corso, who in a recently published interview had called him a "hip square" and "mental gangster," kept up his needling until Olson became "bugged" and put an end to the discussion by walking over to his adversary and wordlessly knocking him out of his chair with a vigorous head-butt. Corso "had a big lump on his head for days." Olson, for his part, went away sore. He felt the Beats were "hexing" him. Back at the Fort after the Harvard event he hammered out a spell-reversing 'Maximus' poem (which, upon striking better relations with some of the Beats in later years, he would withhold from the published epic), "A Maximus Written to Throw Back a Hex on Allen Ginsberg and/or Gregory Corso...'I sat in Gloucester,' he would confess at the 1965 Berkeley Poetry Conference--his ultimate up-close tilt-for-power with Ginsberg, et al.--'suffering, suffering that the world had been captured by Allen and Peter and Gregory and their own master (like my Pound), Burroughs." (from book) "Charles Olson: The Allegory of a Poet's Life" is the highly controversial biography of Charles Olson by Tom Clark, which has been contended by numerous sources for its warts-and-all portrayal of Olson and for a few conjectures Clark makes about Olson from a psychological standpoint. Whatever can be said of this biography, it is sure that Clark diligently composed a detailed, comprehensive portrait of a man fiercely motivated by accusations of incompetence and his own surging ambition. From the collection of Ken & Ann Mikolowski, founders of Detroit's visionary "Alternative Press," publishers and friends of many Beat/New York School/Black Mountain-affiliated authors. Book also includes contemporary bookmark from Ann Arbor's legendary Shaman Drum Bookshop, once the literary center of this city, where Ginsberg and co. often held readings when visiting town. Book in very fine condition with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges. Dust-jacket in very fine condition with minute rubbing to front, back covers; slightest shelf-wear esp. at top, bottom of jacket spine. Very Fine / Very fine. [Item #3033]

Price: $30.00

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