Alex Blasdel

Affairs to Remember

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats

By

Allen Lane 460pp £25 order from our bookshop

‘Dream Record: June 8, 1955’ was almost the last poem Allen Ginsberg ever wrote. In it, he interrogates the ghost of William S Burroughs’s wife, Joan. Burroughs had shot her dead in Mexico City in 1951 during what was, according to legend, a pie-eyed game of William Tell. (Instead of an apple, she supposedly had a champagne glass on her head.) ‘Joan, what kind of knowledge have the dead?’ Ginsberg asks in his elegant composition, which he wrote shortly after his twenty-ninth birthday and later called a survey of the major characters of the Beat Generation up to that time. ‘What do you remember of us?’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,