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Indian Journals

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Allan Ginsberg was the leading poet and conscience of the Beat generation. Indian Journals collects Ginsberg’s writings from his trip to India in 1962–63.
Paperback, 210 pages
Published August 13th 1996 by Grove Press (first published 1970)
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Feb 06, 2014 James rated it liked it
The quality of the material in this book is very uneven. It consists of journal entries of daily events and travels, accounts of dreams, a few scribbled drawings, and initial drafts of poems.

I recognized a few of the poems.

The drawings are crude to the point of being barely intelligible.

I speak from personal experience when I say it's next to impossible for a person to adequately convey the look, scope, breadth, depth, grandeur, oddness, and meaning of a dream to another person, so I'm not sur
May 30, 2010 Dan rated it liked it
Shelves: journal-diary
For those unfamiliar with him, Allen Ginsberg was an icon of the counter-culture in America, particularly in the 1950s as an original member of the Beat Generation. His oppositional activities continued into the 1960s, for instance in his vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam (he was among those who marched on the Pentagon in 1967 in protest of the war) and in his associations with other youth movement personalities such as Ken Kesey and Bob Dylan. This book is Ginsberg’s journal from 1961-2, w ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Claire rated it liked it
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
Oct 24, 2012 Mat rated it liked it
very interesting read. this was the first time i had read any of Ginsberg's prose and i was not disappointed. like others have already mentioned or pointed out, Ginsberg was not only an outstanding poet but also played a vital role in late twentieth century america as activist and unofficial spokesman for the dispossessed.

in this volume, what struck me about him in particular was his incredible bravery to lead the life he wanted to lead and be true to himself, knowing full well that there would
Craig Werner
Jun 19, 2016 Craig Werner rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, sixties
Even by Ginsberg's standards the 15 months he spent in India (62-63) were on the slightly incoherent side. He went looking for a guru, didn't find one, but, like many western seekers, discovered that if he had a guru it was a westerner (provided you consider William Blake "western," which would have horrified both Blake and the West). The notebooks contain fragments and drafts of material some of which would show up in finished poems; there's a brilliant bit on Kali as the Statue of Liberty. The ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Grace rated it really liked it
His writing is abstract and at times it's hard to follow what he is talking about. It was really refreshing to read something which is so forthright - which could be seen as shocking, I admire this man's honesty.

I was disturbed by some of his dream sequences though, couldn't believe that something like that could be published.
Jan 26, 2008 robert rated it really liked it
this is a curious book, part meditation and part poem, taking place during an extended trip to india by ginsburg and orlovsky. Rambling, unfocussed, but often beautiful and touching, subtextually about the disintegration of their relationship as much as an inquiry into being.
Dec 21, 2009 Liesl rated it liked it
Nothing like a little Ginsberg to bring together the lyric snapshots of the sublime... and the worms in his butt. Talk about non-duality. But reading it now, after so much time in India, I still - or especially - fall for his juxtapositions, his fixation on peter, his need.
Jen Hitt
Sep 29, 2007 Jen Hitt rated it liked it
I was extremely struck by this book, the prose, the mindset, and the picture of the severed foot - who knows why I haven't made it to India yet. sigh.
Apr 05, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Ginsberg goes to India and breathes ganja for several months, and drools over naked sadhus. Recommended
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  • The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso in Paris, 1957-1963
  • A Blue Hand: The Beats in India
  • The Letters, Vol. 1: 1945-1959
  • I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg
  • Selected Letters, 1957-1969
  • The Back Country
  • Collected Letters, 1944-1967
  • The Happy Birthday of Death
  • Kerouac: A Biography
  • Pictures of the Gone World
  • The Horn
  • The Beat Book
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was the son of Louis and Naomi Ginsberg, two Jewish members of the New York literary counter-culture of the 1920s. Ginsberg was raised among several progressive political perspectives. A supporter of the Communist party, Ginsberg's mother was a nudist whose mental health was a concern throughout the poet's childhood. According to biographer Barry Miles, "Naomi's illness gave ...more
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