351 Essay #2

Please select one of the prompts below and write a 4-5 page (1000-1200 word) response. Bring in at least 2 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources (ie found via Hunter Library and not Google) to support your argument, making sure to cite that source correctly. This is due to me electronically the day of the final exam, i.e. Wednesday December 11 at 5 PM.

  1. Ginsberg and Censorship: In our discussions of Ginsberg’s “Please Master” we have discussed a number of issues surrounding speech, censorship, and aesthetics with regard to the poem and its reception. Evaluate the impact of the this poem on the literary world. Is it simply pornographic or is is erotic? Why? How does it use language to have the impact that it does? Provide specific examples from the poem to justify your answer.
  2. Burroughs and Meaning: Somewhat the inverse of Ginsberg, Burroughs’s cut-ups nonetheless maintain an ability to shock, dismay, and rebel against the status quo. Specifically, how does the cut-up method undermine our sense of a stable “reality” and faith in language and communication?¬†Include your own experience of turning the KUBARK torture manual into poetry with a 6 year-old. How does turning something horrific into something nonsensical, and even funny, defy the manual’s original intentions?