Commentary Magazine


Allen Ginsburg

To the Editor:

Morris Dickstein, in “Allen Ginsberg & the 60′s” [January 1970], writes that I “glare sternly at those who wish to put aside the tragic burdens of the 20th century for a period of ‘relaxed pleasures and surface hedonisms.’” The quote within his sentence is taken from my October 1968 COMMENTARY essay, “The New York Intellectuals.” What I actually wrote was this: “After all the virtuosos of torment and enigma we have known, it would be fine to have a period in Western culture devoted to relaxed pleasures and surface hedonism. But so far this does not seem possible . . .” (emphasis added).

Irving Howe
New York City

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To the Editor:

. . . Among all the learned pontifications on the 60′s, youth, literature, and the like, Morris Dick-stein’s article is so refreshing—he knows what Ginsberg is all about, and, more than that, understands what young people respond to in him. In a period when our country hates the young who are striving for an inner freedom, I am moved by Dickstein’s voice of compassion and sympathy.

Ann G. Wolfe
New York City

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