Advocate: Iron Curtain Journals a "must-read"

This work is a must-read for those looking to better understand Ginsberg and his times.

Iron Curtail Journals (Allen Ginsberg)Allen Ginsberg's writings here are a travel guide through the mind of the Beat Generation’s best, which chart his poetry, political hijinks, and high-profile encounters behind the Iron Curtain during the height of the Cold War. They were written over a six-month period in 1965 after he is deported from Cuba to Prague. From there, he travels across the Soviet satellite states visiting Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto, and Auschwitz, as well as visiting Russia, the land of his heritage. Warned to keep a low profile upon his return to Prague, he is discovered by students who ceremoniously parade him through the streets in the back of a flatbed truck. He is discovered by the authorities, beaten, and deported to England just in time to help stage an international poetry reading at Royal Albert Hall. His journals capture a time and place where freedom of speech and expression were brutally suppressed by a totalitarian regime. They are filled with descriptions of the passing scenery as well as graphic recreations of his sexual encounters, where snippets of poetry are juxtaposed with political intrigues, scraps of conversations, random observations of daily events, and encounters with faceless bureaucrats. To be followed by South American Journals and The Fall Of America Journals, this work is a must-read for those looking to better understand Ginsberg and his times. 

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Published in: Advocate