I Celebrate Myself
The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg
By Bill Morgan
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670037964, 720pp.)
Publication Date: October 5, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Published to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Howl, the first full biography of Allen Ginsberg--from birth to death
Allen Ginsberg was America's most influential poet since World War II, a figure who was in the vanguard of every popular movement of that time, from the emergence of the Beat generation to the countercultural revolution to the interest in Eastern spirituality. In this new biography, the first since the poet's death in 1997 and the only one to cover his entire life, Bill Morgan creates the most complete portrait to date of Ginsberg.
Drawing on his unparalleled access to Ginsberg's inner circle as well as on the poet's journals and correspondence, Morgan offers a revealing portrait of a complicated and flamboyant character. Ginsberg was a tenacious man who was driven by ambition and curiosity; he was plagued by self-doubt and always longed for acceptance and recognition. He also had a genius for living and networking and for expressing himself candidly; his love for freedom and equality was uncompromising. Morgan examines Ginsberg's life and his tremendous impact on society from many different angles: his political views, his battles with censorship, and his approach to drugs. He also provides a more accurate picture than previously told of Ginsberg's search for love (including his complex relationship with his lifelong partner, Peter Orlovsky) and of his involvement with Tibetan Buddhism. This definitive and engaging life of Ginsberg also includes a unique feature--it lists the titles of Ginsberg's poems in the margins so that the reader can see exactly what he was writing at any point in his life.