Bookish Bites: Ginsberg

2 min readApr 4
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To Beat Generation sycophants, not only those drowned in the rhetoric, rather folks just like us who are still trying to digest the literal insanity of the movement and the lives of its main front-men: Leave your cultural meme designs and Scriveners aside for about two hours and listen to this pod episode you did not know you needed.

Episode 684 of the Otherppl podcast with Brad Listi (he has not bribed me into writing this) is our favorite in the series in at least the last two years and delves profoundly and personally into Allen Ginsberg through Michael Schumacher, a friend of the literary icon as well the person who has covered his work and the life the most.

For longtime listeners of this podcast, it might help to stress that Brad Listi is at his most curious and excited as Schumacher, piece by piece and one personal anecdote at a time, attempts to demystify many contradictory and obscure sides of the writer.

Neal Cassady, Naomi (his distraught and schizophrenic mother who he so dearly loved), Lucien Carr, as well as Beat Generation’s usual suspects William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, make recurring appearances in the span of the episode. There is a mention of the 2013 film Kill Your Darlings on the movement starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg and Dane DeHaan as Carr, which gets a “so-so” rating from Schumacher. You cannot possibly blame the man; taking this very episode as evidence, he proves over and over more resourceful and exciting as a storyteller giving glimpses of a life a bookish person would probably not want to miss.

I asked him “Don’t you ever take a day off?”, well, we’re all lucky he didn’t.

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