Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" & the Performative Nature of Language & Participating in the Divine in the Very Act of Reading It
"Howl" is a poem I taught for eons as it is such a great way to teach the performative — how language not only says things but does things. I borrow this word, performative, from the philosopher, John Austin who gave an incredible set of lectures that became a book, How to Do Things with Words. I cannot recommend Austin's book more ardently.
So this is me talking about the performative via Ginsberg's incredible poem. And how, in the act of reading it, we don't just learn of all the depraved exploits of the Beats: we participate in Beat-dom, we become Beat, which is to participate in the divine through and with the flesh. Oh yes. Oh yes, indeed.