As was the case for other writers from the Beat Generation, geography is more than simply a setting for Allen Ginsberg’s work, as his poetry also bears the imprint of the influence of the landscapes through which he traveled in his mind and poetic practice. In the 1950s, the same decade which saw the composition of Ginsberg’s Howl
, Guy Debord and his followers developed the concept of “psychogeography” and “dérive” to analyze the influence of landscapes on one’s mind. The Debordian concept of psychogeography implies then that an objective world can have unknown and subjective consequences. Inspired by Debord’s theories and through the analysis of key poems, this paper argues that a psychogeographical focus can shed new light on ecocritical studies of Ginsberg’s poetry. It can indeed unveil the complex construction of the poet’s own space-time poetics, from hauntological aspects to his specific composition process.
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