[Item #5816] Prose Contribution to Cuban Revolution. Allen Ginsberg.
Prose Contribution to Cuban Revolution
Prose Contribution to Cuban Revolution

Prose Contribution to Cuban Revolution

Detroit, MI: Artists' Workshop Press, 1966. First Printing. Stapled Wrappers. “PROSE CONTRIBUTION TO CUBAN REVOLUTION is an important statement on consciousness-expansion by the major American poet Allen Ginsberg. Originally written in 1961 from Greece, the essay first appeared in the 1st (and only) issue of PA’LANTE magazine, published in 1962 and long out of print. This Artists’ Workshop Press reprint makes the statement available to the poet’s 1966 audience, at a time when there is much need for direction and guidance. The world is a far different place now, but Ginsberg’s account of his own struggle against the prison of western ego-consciousness has a highly useful relevance to young people today,” (from back cover). While technically the second appearance of this piece by Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), the Detroit Artists’ Workshop edition is the first appearance of Ginsberg’s “Prose Contribution” as a standalone essay; as a title unto itself. For this writer, the “Prose Contribution” deals only nominally with the Marxian march of history and Castro’s Cuban Revolution, — because, in truth, Ginsberg’s heartfelt, though contextually challenged take on geopolitics is the least valuable and least interesting thing about this essay. If there was a bugle for Burroughsians, I’d certainly sound it here; for there lies hidden in this essay some particularly useful (estimably candid, laudably voiced) revelations about Burroughs that Ginsberg here notes somewhat offhandedly, but not entirely without gravitas. They deal, essentially with the idea that precisely around the time of this essay’s creation (1961), Burroughs was coming into his own so forcefully that it actually “scared” (or was unsettling to) Allen. Allen discusses how Bill’s nascent cut-up metaphysics and the attendant guerilla philosophy he was just then beginning to collate and present as an integrated whole was both troublingly persuasive, and pronouncedly totalistic. This first reckoning with the interior, philosophical change in his dear friend and literary compatriot is quite the thing to be nested between covers that will neither wink at nor attest to the presence of such valuable Beat-scholastic food-for-thought (or ‘caviar-minutiae,’ —the phrase I prefer). One other little nugget in this regard: Ginsberg here writes about the existence of the Dreamachine but it is so early on in its existence) that he doesn’t even refer to it by name (it doesn’t “have a name” for him at this point). He talks of “stroboscopic experiments,” but says nothing of Gysin, Somerville, or the Dreamachine by name. All in all, this piece is worth far more than the price of admission, and contained within this thin booklet are questions still to be answered; Beat-Scholastic rabbit holes to “burrow” with abandon. Chapbook in stapled wrappers: the first standalone publication — and, as such, the “First Printing” for our purposes, here — of this oft-overlooked (but context-rich) prose rumination by the Great Bard Ginsberg. Per colophon: “Printed in an edition of 1000 copies / at the Artists’ Workshop Press, 4863 / John Lodge, Detroit, Michigan 48201, / by John & Magdalene Sinclair, November / 1966. The cover photograph of Allen / Ginsberg is by Magdalene Sinclair [Leni], / Berkeley, California, 1965.” From the collection of Robin Eichele (b. 1941), noted Mimeograph Revolutionary & co-founder (with John Sinclair) of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop. In strong near fine condition with only moderate-to-enunciated shelf-wear, low-impact spotting, bumping, bump-creasing, age-toning & nonuniform, contained exhibits of browning at, to, or along fine-edges & corners of front, back covers of spine-edge at varying locales; slightly more pronounced (since-flattened) bump-creases present at topmost right-hand corner of front cover & bottommost right-hand corner of same, else clean. Very Fine. [Item #5816]

Price: $65.00