Be Kind to This Place: Allen Ginsberg and the First International Poetry Incarnation
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Virtanen develops a much-needed examination of the First International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall in 1965. The chapter offers a detailed account of the performance, which foregoes the common myths about its proceedings and instead presents the occasion as an event populated by myriad aspirations and encounters. Virtanen explores these features through a range of contexts, including the architecture and history of the Albert Hall itself; the distinctions between the British counterculture and the New Left; and Lefebvre’s theories of space. The chapter culminates in an in-depth analysis of how Allen Ginsberg’s reading that night negotiated between the event’s myriad aspirations in order to deliver a performance that simultaneously asserted the presence of the author-poet as well as the cacophonous collectivity of a multiplicity.