Modern Beat: The Internet and Literary Communities
Jan11

Modern Beat: The Internet and Literary Communities

When the Beat Generation was in its heyday, the writers and artists that created its seminal works were in love with literature. They looked to the past for inspiration – to Blake, to Whitman, to Wolfe. They paid tribute to their influences, but more than anything they took those influence and made something new. Their creations were in response to the world around them – the world that was at that time the present. That was indeed a...

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Cut-Up
Jan11

Cut-Up

A few essays on William S. Burroughs, cut-up into a Burroughsesque cut-up mess…

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Naked Lunch at Fifty
Jan11

Naked Lunch at Fifty

“‘Disgusting,’ they said . . . ‘Pornographic’ . . . ‘Un-American trash’ . . . ‘Unpublishable’ . . . Well, it came out in 1959, and it found an audience . . . Town meetings . . . Book burnings . . . And an Inquiry by the State Supreme Court . . . That book made quite a little impression . . .” — William Burroughs In 2006 Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” turned fifty years old. A year later, in 2007, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road hit that same...

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Lady Beats

by Hannah Withrow 1 I begin my immersion into female Beat writers fittingly with Diane di Prima; referred to in one anthology as “Poet Priestess,” she is one of the more well-known of these women.  My introduction to her large body of work was Memoirs of a Beatnik, a piece of erotica.  Ridiculous orgies, almost constant sex, nude modeling to pay the bills, always high, always scandalous. Most of her other work is more classically...

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Visions of Burroughs

by Steven O’Sullivan It’s like a compass. A compass operates on magnetics. People always seem to be in such a rush to articulate themselves. But maybe we just can’t articulate certain emotions. Maybe there’s just those things we’re inexplicably drawn to. Maybe. A kind of primordial magnet inside us that knows better than we do. Something like love; if love stepped on broken glass and stumbled around a...

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The Howl Interview
Jan11

The Howl Interview

Perhaps the most exciting movie of 2010 for Beatdom readers is ‘Howl’, a 1950s era feature film about Allen Ginsberg’s obscenity trial for his epic, generation-defining poem of the same name. The movie will star James Franco as a young Ginsberg, with Alan Alda as Judge Clayton Horn, Jeff Daniels as prosecution witness Prof. David Kirk, Mary-Louise Park as prosecution witness Gail Potter, David Strathairn as prosecution attorney Ralph...

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The Battle for Kerouac’s Estate

by David S. Wills “Money is the root of all evil” For I will Write In my will “I regret that I was not able To love money more.” Jack Kerouac, 238th Chorus, Mexico City Blues Jack Kerouac died on October 21st, 1969, of cirrhosis of the liver. By the time he died he had become a shell of the man he once was. He lived with his mother, drank himself beyond recognition, and was flat broke. But as we all know, Kerouac’s fame only grew...

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Helen Weaver Interview
Jan11

Helen Weaver Interview

Recent history has seen the women in the life of Jack Kerouac finally bring to public attention their side of the story. Portrayed in his work in what some deem a sexist manner, they have been releasing memoirs and telling the world about Kerouac. In 1983, Joyce Johnson wrote Minor Characters; in 1990, Carolyn Cassady published Off the Road; and in 2000 there was Joan Haverty’s Nobody’s Wife, with a foreword by Jan Kerouac. These...

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