Thursday, 18 September 2014
Book Review: Indian Journals by Allen Ginsberg
These journals weren't the super inspiring, self-revelatory diaries you would expect. It’s more of a place that Allen uses to write down all his poetry and thoughts and because he’s super famous that = published book. Lucky dude.
But seriously, I know Allen’s voice so well that I love any of his poetry. His voice and his ability to create images in the readers mind made me get totally lost in this book. Like, have you ever been reading a book on the bus and looked up and had to fully re-orientate yourself about where you are in reality? That’s this book.
He loves and seems obsessed with India’s openness with death. He lives near the burning ghats, where every day sadhus (holy men) come to attend funerals and burn the bodies next to the sacred Ganges. It reminded me a little of Shantaram but much more focused on the death and on the melting bodies, etc. I was surprised that there wasn't more spirituality explored in the books. He keeps up the essential-beat drug taking (morphine and ganga) which is interesting where he writes under the influence.
I wouldn't recommend this to someone who doesn't already like Allen Ginsberg. It’s more for adding to your understanding of his life and influences as a whole than just how India influenced him. Best read with large available chunks of time. Also includes cute pictures of Peter (his boyfriend) and Allen with long beards and lush jesus hair, as well as not so cute pictures of deformed beggars and street people.