The Alternative Society: Essays from the Other World. Kenneth Rexroth.

The Alternative Society: Essays from the Other World

New York, NY: New, 1970. First Trade Softcover Edition. Softcover. "In 1956 (sic--should be '55) I asked the proprietors of the Six Gallery, one of the launching pads of Abstract Expressionism, if they would sponsor a reading by Walter Lowenfels who could not get a hall anywhere in San Francisco because he was under indictment for violation of the Smith Act. He was an editor of the Philadelphia edition of The Daily Worker and had been a well-known modernist poet in the Paris America of the late Twenties and early Thirties. (He is the Jabberwohl Kronstadt in Henry Miller's 'Black Spring.' The proprietors of the gallery were delighted at the chance to defy authority...[and] were so delighted that they asked me to arrange other readings. The next one made history. It was a parade of the city's leading avant-garde poets--Robert Duncan, Brother Antoninus, Philip Lamantia, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, and four young men who had just come to town--Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg." (From Rexroth's essay "The Second Post-War, The Second Interbellum," pg.102-103). Would it be correct to call this tome "Rexroth Uncensored?" I'm not sure if Rexroth ever cared to censor himself--and particularly when it comes to disparaging people he feels get more credit or accolades than they rightfully deserve. Among those notably flogged by Rexroth's barbed tongue is Jack Kerouac, whom he devotes several sentences of incensed rage and anecdotal evidence to prove that Kerouac's sense of Zen Buddhism and his entire interest in eastern religions was childish, misconstrued and ornamental. Goodies like these and more abound in this overlooked volume of Rexroth; one sure to stimulate conversation for any involved in Beat scholarly work and possibly incite academic dispute. Book in fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; horizontal crease running through length of spine from use; slight shelf-wear to all fine-edges. Fine. [Item #3056]

Price: $15.00

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