William S. Burroughs, C. J. Bradbury Robinson, and Williams Mix
Mar17

William S. Burroughs, C. J. Bradbury Robinson, and Williams Mix

Love or hate him, venerate or revile him, the life and work of William Seward Burroughs continues to inspire and intrigue. In addition to “The Work,” since his death in 1997 we have seen further biographies, celebrations, collections of letters, and critical studies, as well as restored and even previously unpublished texts. There has been reassessment and re-examination of various aspects of the life and work, starting with Burroughs...

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Drunk and Disorderly: Charles Bukowski in Hollywood
Dec01

Drunk and Disorderly: Charles Bukowski in Hollywood

by Chris Dickerson   Charles Bukowski never considered himself part of the Beat Generation; in fact, he frequently disparaged the idea. He wasn’t a joiner, he didn’t like drugs (except booze), and while the Beats haunted San Francisco or New York’s Greenwich Village, Bukowski clung proudly – often on wobbly drunken legs – to his hometown, Hollywood, California. So Bukowski prowled Hollywood, its dive bars and run-down rooming...

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American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke
Nov11

American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke

From: While the name Herbert Huncke may not be well-known among the general population, it is certainly familiar to readers of the Beat Generation. You simply cannot tell the life story of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, or Jack Kerouac without it, and he appears quite obviously in some of their most important works, including Junky, On the Road, and “Howl.” These three writers, among the most important in American literature,...

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Meeting William S. Burroughs
Nov09

Meeting William S. Burroughs

By Cabell McClean and Matthew Levi Stevens   Cabell McLean was born in 1952, a descendant of the visionary American writer James Branch Cabell (author of Jurgen), for whom he was named. After attending the University of Virginia, he first met William S. Burroughs when he attended Naropa College as a grad student in the late 1970s. He came to the attention of the poet, Larry Fagin, who told him: “Where you need to be is with William....

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The Second Wave of American Interest in Japanese Culture: Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder
Oct14

The Second Wave of American Interest in Japanese Culture: Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder

by Charlie Canning Photos by John La Farge and David S. Wills   Since the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1853, the United States and Japan have had a long and varied history. Initially, the United States wanted trade with Japan to extend American influence in Asia as well as to compete with Britain, Russia, and France. These were mercantile and political concerns that had little to do with Japan as an extant civilization with something to...

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Drinking from the Beat Menu
Jul07

Drinking from the Beat Menu

 Jack Kerouac Gin, whiskey, beer, cognac, and wine   According to his biographer, Michael Dittman, as a young construction worker (working on the Pentagon), Jack Kerouac would bring a pint of “gin or whiskey” to work every day. His early years appear mostly dominated by beer, which he would continue to drink – often as a chaser – for the rest of his life. However, through most of Beat history – from the early “libertine circle”...

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Review: This Ain’t No Holiday Inn
Jun14

Review: This Ain’t No Holiday Inn

This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995 By James Lough   New York’s Chelsea Hotel has a special place in American culture. It has surely been a home, or a home-away-from-home, to more influential artists than any other building in the nation. To list the famous names in American art and literature that have stayed there would require more words than can be devoted to one book review, and would serve...

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