“You Are Sometimes in the Trance of What Is Beyond You”: Upheaval, Incantation and Ed Dorn in the Summer of 1968


I. Love in the Time of Barricade:  When the radical students at the University of Essex, in Colchester, England, voted to dismantle the structures of established power at their university in May 1968, they took up a continental, if not international, cue. Throughout the spring of 1968, student-organized rebellions across Europe occupied their universities and/or founded new universities in their place. In mid-February, while filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Luis Buñuel (later joined by Orson Welles, Roberto Rosselini, Robert Bresson, and others) marched in the streets of Paris to protest the Ministry of Culture’s removal of Henri Langlois as director of the Cinematheque Francaise (an organization he’d founded), a young American poet and psychiatrist, named Joseph Berke, proclaimed the opening of the Anti-University in London, featuring such lecturers as poet and psychiatrist R.D. Laing and playwright David Mercer.  At the same time, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) presented the International Congress on Vietnam at the Free University in West Berlin, where Rudi Dutschke — an East German dissident, former theology student, and compelling orator, who’d roused a massive opposition to the Vietnam War among West German students — chided the overarching connections between class oppression in Europe, the imperialist interventions in Vietnam, and the masked perpetuation of slavery among the urban, black population in the U.S., chained to a modern institutionalized web of poverty, crime, and addiction. … The Essex revolt put American poet Edward Dorn, a Fulbright lecturer at the university since 1965, in tight spot. Academic superstar Donald Davie, whose vision and hard work had built the literature department at Essex and who’d painstakingly traveled to Pocatello, Idaho, to recruit Dorn to it, had since been appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor, a position incontestably antithetical to the notion of a ‘Free University’ imagined by the radical factions of students and faculty. …”
Jacket Magazine 38
Jacket Magazine 32: Stephen Fredman – Introduction to Edward Dorn
The Cosmology of Finding Your Place By Edward Dorn (presented april 10, 1969 at the united campus christian fellowship benefit reading for the draft resisters league, Lawrence.)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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