Hemispheric Beats (in the Bay Area and Beyond)

Todd F. Tietchen

in Cubalogues

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780813035208
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039633 | DOI:
Hemispheric Beats (in the Bay Area and Beyond)

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This chapter focuses on Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poems and articles. While Ferlinghetti was impressed with Castro's early reform programs, his “Poet's Notes” begins with a critique of the federal government, the CIA, and the U.S. public sphere, with liberal members of the mainstream press absorbing the most stinging blows. In typical Beat argot, Ferlinghetti's Cubalogue describes the general Cuban population as “‘turned on,’ a kind of euphoria in the air.” Despite mainstream press accounts of Castro as an enemy of free speech, Ferlinghetti asserts the public openness of the events taking place outside his hotel window: “At one a.m. they're still at it, at two they're still at it. Still later, I look out from hotel room and see the crowd still there, the Revolution being argued out in the night, in what looks like Free Speech.”

Keywords: Lawrence Ferlinghetti; political reforms; Beat argot; freedom of speech; mainstream media; cultural activism

Chapter.  12467 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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