Monday, April 6, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009:

Today Alessandro Nivola took the stand, playing defense witness Luther Nichols, a literary critic and intellectual who was a San Francisco Examiner book editor for three years. Nichols was a contemporary of Ginsbergs, and he represented a distinctly different point-of-view from the other witnesses. He pointed out the similarities that Howl had to jazz and how it spoke of the displaced post-WWII generation. When McIntosh tried to push Nichols into assigning a sexual connotation to the words "blew" and "blown" in order to show the obscene nature of the poem, Nichols had a clever way of subverting it, by pointing out that "I think it can at one level mean that they were
vagabonds, that they were blown about by natural, literal winds". Nivola created a character that was from a distinctly different generation than all of the other witnesses who testified in the Howl trial.

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