Allen Ginsberg

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Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was a Beat-generation poet and political activist. He was an advocate of intergenerational sex.

Biography

Allen Ginsberg
Ginsberg was born in Newark, New Jersey, on 3 June, 1926 and grew up in nearby Paterson. He made a name for himself in 1956 with the release of Howl and Other Poems which was deemed obscene by local authorities. He was present at all major civil rights events and protests in the 1960's, except the Stonewall riots since they were spontaneous.

Between 1994 and his death on 5 April, 1997, in New York, much of Ginsberg's political energy was exerted against the gay community to allow NAMBLA to march in annual pride parades, citing that boylovers today were being treated much like homosexuals in general while he was growing up.

Advocacy of intergenerational sex

He is argued to be one of the most well-known people to have spoken positively on intergenerational sex, often reflecting on his own experiences as a loved boy and espousing a love for boys himself as an adult. In 1994, Ginsberg rushed to the defense of the North American Man/Boy Love Association when the International Lesbian and Gay Association attempted to expel decade-old ties to them in a political move to gain consultative status in the United Nations. He wrote in the NAMBLA Bulletin and said:

"Attacks on NAMBLA stink of politics, witchhunting for profit, humorlessness, vanity, anger and ignorance [...] I'm a member of NAMBLA because I love boys too -- everybody does, who has a little humanity."[1]

In a 1974 interview with Allen Young, Ginsberg said:

"...it's very old and very charming for older and younger people to make it-which you realize as you get old too-and nothing to be ashamed of, defensive about, but something to be encouraged; a healthy relationship, not a sick neurotic dependency.
The main thing is communication. Older people have ken, experience, history, memory, information, data, power, money and also worldly technology. Younger people have intelligence, enthusiasm, sexuality, energy, vitality, open mind, athletic activity-all the characteristics and sweet, dewy knowledges of youth; and both profit from the reciprocal exchange. It becomes more than a sexual relationship; it becomes an exchange of strength, an exchange of gifts, an exchange of accomplishments, an exchange of nature-bounties. Older people gain vigor, refreshment, vitality, energy, hopefulness, and cheerfulness from the attentions of the young; and the younger people gain gossip, experience, advice, aid, comfort, wisdom, knowledge, and teaching from their relation with the old. So as in other relationships, the combination of old and young is functionally useful. It's far from sexist, in the sense that the interest of the younger person is not totally sexual; it's more in the relationship and the wisdom to be gained.
In Edward Carpenter's and Whitman's time the older person made love to the younger person, blew the younger person, and there was the absorption of the younger person's electric, vital magnetism (according to charming, theosophical, nineteenth century theory). And it's something that somebody older like myself does experience as a natural fact. When you sleep with somebody younger you do gain a little vitality of breadth and bounce...."[2]

Among mainstream enthusiasts of Allen Ginsberg and his poetry, his connection to NAMBLA and romanticism with pederasty are often ignored or denied. Today, some readers of Allen Ginsberg take the position that Ginsberg did not support the objectives of NAMBLA and only defended it as a matter of free speech. Ginsberg himself said that he doesn't like underage boys in one of his last interviews for the New York Times.[3], but these sound like the words of a man who had perhaps been to some extent worn down by the decade-long attacks on him regarding his connection to NAMBLA. In fact much of his poetry, which was influenced by Walt Whitman reveals that, like Whitman, he loved young men and teenage boys.[4] This reputed him as the "poet who loved boys". As Raymond-Jean Frontain observed:

"Although both Shumacher and Barry Miles (Ginsberg's initial biographer) frankly discuss Ginsberg's sexual politics, neither refers to his involvement with the controversial North American Man/Boy Love Association [...] I reread Collected Poems and Ginsberg's two subsequent collections, surprised by the pattern of references to anal intercourse and to pederasty that emerged".[5]

References

  1. Allen Ginsberg, "Thoughts on NAMBLA," Deliberate Prose: Selected Essays 1952-1995 (170). Harper Perennial. ISBN 9780060930813
  2. Allen Ginsberg, Gay Sunshine Interview with Allen Young. Grey Fox Press
  3. Dinitia Smith, "How Allen Ginsberg Thinks His Thoughts," New York Times, October 8, 1996.
  4. Camille Paglia, "The purity of Allen Ginsberg's boy-love," Salon.com, April 15, 1997.
  5. Raymond-Jean Frontain, "The Works of Allen Ginsberg," Journal of Homosexuality 34 (1997): 109.

See also

External Links