Thesis Title

Kaddish: Allen Ginsberg's American Elegy

Author

John M. Carey

Date of Graduation

Spring 2000

Degree

Master of Arts in English

Department

English

Committee Chair

James Jones

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature

Abstract

This works analyzes the impact and meaning of Allen Ginsberg's poem Kaddish. It is shown through biographical, textual and historical evidence that Kaddish is more than just a poem for and about Ginsberg's deceased mother. In the poem, Ginsberg's mother, Naomi, serves symbolically for all Jewish-American women and her fate embodies that of the Jewish people, and in fact, all of America. The structure and content of the poem are analyzed, as well as related work; including poems, correspondence and journals. A large portion of this material is unpublished information found in the archives of the Stanford University library. The first chapter serves as an introduction to explain the necessity of this interpretation, the second chapter provides biographical and historical evidence and the third chapter is a close reading of the poem.

Copyright

© John M Carey

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Dissertation/Thesis

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