Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) kept journals his entire life, beginning at the age of eleven. These first journals detail the inner thoughts of the awkward boy from Paterson, New Jersey, who would become the major poet and spokesperson of the literary phenomenon called the Beat Generation. The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice covers the most important and formative years of Ginsberg's storied life. It was during these years that he met Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, both of whom would become lifelong friends and significant literary figures. Ginsberg's journals--so candid he insisted they be published only after his death--also document his relationships with such notable figures of Beat lore as Carl Solomon, Lucien Carr, and Herbert Huncke. Conversations with Kerouac, his beloved muse Neal Cassady, and others have been transcribed from Ginsberg's memory, and information will be found here relating to the famous murder of David Kammerer by Carr--a startlingly violent chapter in Beat prehistory--which has been credited in New York magazine as "giving birth to the Beat Generation." It was also during this period that he began to recognize his homosexuality, and to think of himself as a poet. Illustrated with photos from Ginsberg's private archive and enhanced by an appendix of over 100 of Ginsberg's earliest poems, The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice is a major literary event.