The Beat Movement was and is a literary and arts movement, the most radical and innovative of the 20th century, and because it was so open to new ideas of poetics and aesthetics, it has adapted from decade to decade. The history of the Beat Movement is still being written in the early years of the 21st century. Unlike other kinds of literary and artistic the Beat Movement is self-perpetuating. After the 1950s generation, a new generation arose in the 1960s led by writers such as Diane Wakowski, Anne Waldman, and poets from the East Side Scene. In the 1970s and 1980s writers from the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and contributors to World magazine continued the movement. The 1980s and 1990s Language Movement saw itself as an outgrowth and progression of previous Beat aesthetics. Today poets and writers in San Francisco still gather at City Lights Bookstore and in Boulder at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and continue the movement. It is now a postmodern movement and probably would be unrecognizable to the earliest Beats. It may even be in the process of finally shedding the name Beat. But the Movement continues. The Historical Dictionary of the Beat Movement covers the movements history through a chronology, an introductory essay, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on significant people, themes, critical issues, and the most significant novels, poems, and volumes of poetry and prose that have formed the Beat canon. This book is a vital reference tool for any researcher interested in learning more about the Beat Movement.
The Encyclopedia of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century contains over 400 entries that treat a broad range of individual poets and poems, along with many articles devoted to topics, schools, or periods of American verse in the century. Entries fall into three main categories: poet entries, which provide biographical and cultural contexts for the author's career; entries on individual works, which offer closer explication of the most resonant poems in the 20th-century canon; and topical entries, which offer analyses of a given period of literary production, school, thematically constructed category, or other verse tradition that historically has been in dialogue with the poetry of the United States.
The dissident voice in US culture might almost be said to have been born with the territory. Its span runs from Roger Williams to Thoreau, Anne Bradstreet to Gertrude Stein, Ambrose Bierce to the New Journalism, The Beats to the recent Bad Subjects cyber-crowd. This new study analyses three recent literary tranches in the tradition: a re-envisioning of the whole Beat web or circuit; a consortium of postwar "outrider" voices – Hunter Thompson to Frank Chin, Joan Didion to Kathy Acker; and a latest purview of what, all too casually, has been designated "ethnic" writing. The aim is to set up and explore these different counter-seams of modern American writing, those which sit outside, or at least awkwardly within, agreed literary canons.
Volume 5: the Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America
Author: David Paul Nord
Publisher: UNC Press Books
V. 1. The colonial book in the Atlantic world: This book carries the interrelated stories of publishing, writing, and reading from the beginning of the colonial period in America up to 1790. v. 2 An Extensive Republic: This volume documents the development of a distinctive culture of print in the new American republic. v. 3. The industrial book 1840-1880: This volume covers the creation, distribution, and uses of print and books in the mid-nineteenth century, when a truly national book trade emerged. v. 4. Print in Motion: In a period characterized by expanding markets, national consolidation, and social upheaval, print culture picked up momentum as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth. v. 5. The Enduring Book: This volume addresses the economic, social, and cultural shifts affecting print culture from Word War II to the present.
Policing and the Creation of a Cosmopolitan Liberal Politics, 1950-1972
Author: Christopher Lowen Agee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
During the Sixties the nation turned its eyes to San Francisco as the city's police force clashed with movements for free speech, civil rights, and sexual liberation. These conflicts on the street forced Americans to reconsider the role of the police officer in a democracy. In The Streets of San Francisco Christopher Lowen Agee explores the surprising and influential ways in which San Francisco liberals answered that question, ultimately turning to the police as partners, and reshaping understandings of crime, policing, and democracy. The Streets of San Francisco uncovers the seldom reported, street-level interactions between police officers and San Francisco residents and finds that police discretion was the defining feature of mid-century law enforcement. Postwar police officers enjoyed great autonomy when dealing with North Beach beats, African American gang leaders, gay and lesbian bar owners, Haight-Ashbury hippies, artists who created sexually explicit works, Chinese American entrepreneurs, and a wide range of other San Franciscans. Unexpectedly, this police independence grew into a source of both concern and inspiration for the thousands of young professionals streaming into the city's growing financial district. These young professionals ultimately used the issue of police discretion to forge a new cosmopolitan liberal coalition that incorporated both marginalized San Franciscans and rank-and-file police officers. The success of this model in San Francisco resulted in the rise of cosmopolitan liberal coalitions throughout the country, and today, liberal cities across America ground themselves in similar understandings of democracy, emphasizing both broad diversity and strong policing.
Women's Roles in Autobiographical Texts by Female Beat Writers
Author: Heike Mlakar
Category: Literary Criticism
Despite the advent of second wave feminism in the late 1960s, it took more than twenty years before feminist literary criticism started to pay attention to the complex role of women Beat writers. Merely Being There Is Not Enough theorizes the memoirs of Diane di Prima, Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, and Brenda Frazer, and analyzes their contributions to the Beat movement. Among the writings of female Beat authors, the memoir has become the most commonly used literary genre. At the height of the Beat movement, Frazer published Troia: Mexican Memoirs in 1969, the same year that saw the publication of di Prima's Memoirs of a Beatnik . Most female Beat voices, however, remained astonishingly silent until 1983, when Johnson published Minor Characters: A Young Woman's Coming of Age in the Beat Generation . Johnson's long-time friend Jones followed with How I Became Hettie Jones in 1990. The memoirs of Beat women chronicle the Beat-1950s and the intimate relationships with icons of the time: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and Ray Bremser. Being there at a crucial moment in history validates female Beats' stories as indispensable social documents of the 1950s. To make women Beat writers visible and to categorize their memoirs, this work immerses in the almost paradoxical project of defining a category of female Beat writing when it is the nature of Beat literature and its rebellious aesthetics to dismiss any kind of labeling. Women Beats unsettle the categories of Beat writing and culture: Therefore, a revision and re-examination of Beat history is inevitable to understand the movement's literary expression.
What do we know about the women who played an important role in creating the literature of the Beat Generation? Until recently, very little. Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs have come to typify this iconoclastic cold war -- and nearly completely masculine -- scene. Studies of the movement have effaced or excluded women writers, such as Elise Cowen, Joyce Johnson, Joanne Kyger, Hettie Jones, and Diane Di Prima, each one a significant figure of the postwar Beat communities. Equally free-thinking and innovative as the founding generation of men, women writers, fluent in Beat, hippie, and women's movement idioms, partook of and bridged two important countercultures of the American mid-century. Persistently foregrounding female experiences in the cold war 1950s and in the counterculture 1960s and in every decade up to the millennium, women writing Beat have brought nonconformity, skepticism, and gender dissent to postmodern culture and literary production in the United States and beyond.The contributors to Girls Who Wore Black fill the gap in critical consideration of women writers of the Beat Generation and evaluate their lives and literary output, helping us to appreciate their unique, diverse voices during a dynamic moment of profound and far-reaching cultural change. The text is enhanced with photographs and a selected bibliography for each featured writer.
Confident and robust, Jubilee Hitchhiker is an comprehensive biography of late novelist and poet Richard Brautigan, author of Troutfishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur, among many others. When Brautigan took his own life in September of 1984 his close friends and network of artists and writers were devastated though not entirely surprised. To many, Brautigan was shrouded in enigma, erratic and unpredictable in his habits and presentation. But his career was formidable, an inspiration to young writers like Hjortsberg trying to get their start. Brautigans career wove its way through both the Beat-influenced San Francisco Renaissance in the 1950s and the “Flower Power hippie movement of the 1960s; while he never claimed direct artistic involvement with either period, Jubilee Hitchhiker also delves deeply into the spirited times in which he lived. As Hjortsberg guides us through his search to uncover Brautigan as a man the reader is pulled deeply into the writers world. Ultimately this is a work that seeks to connect the Brautigan known to his fans with the man who ended his life so abruptly in 1984 while revealing the close ties between his writing and the actual events of his life. Part history, part biography, and part memoir this etches the portrait of a man destroyed by his genius.