Happy Birthday Bob Kaufman!

On this day in 1925, Bob Kaufman was born. From Beatdom Issue One: Bob Kaufman: The Unsung Beat Overview It always baffles me to find Bob Kaufman omitted from a great many books and documentaries and websites and talk about the Beat Generation. For me, Kaufman is the embodiment of Beat. That is not to say that the more well known names and faces did not embody the spirit they are most widely credited with creating and fulfilling, but...

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Bukowski Stamp Update

Despite the petition falling well short of its intended 10,000 supporters, the movement to have Charles Bukowski commemorated on a U.S. postal stamp may just have been resurrected. Beatdom reported in its old blog that fans of the late L.A.-based writer have attempted to have his image adorn a stamp by gaining 10,000 signatures on a petition. However, the final total came to a mere 1,000 and the project was deemed a loss. Now,...

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Kerouac Best Dressed Man?

According to Esquire magazine, Jack Kerouac is the 23rd best dressed man in the history of the world. Why? “Because during the decade that brought the world The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Kerouac embraced workwear as both a functional uniform and a nod to nonconformity.” There’s no mention of Allen Ginsberg or William Burroughs. Certainly, I’m not surprised Ginsberg failed to make the cut. The hippies...

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The Beat Generation and Korea

Since coming to Korea I haven’t really heard much about the Beat Generation. It’s hardly surprising, of course. The Beats are popular around the world, but they remain at their most appealing in English language-speaking countries. Gary Snyder is popular in Korea. When I first came here he offered to introduce me to a few of his friends, but sadly that hasn’t yet happened. I came across this short essay about the history of Snyder...

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Crushing Kerouac

It recently came to our attention here at Beatdom that our very own Edaurdo Jones’s grandfather (whom we all call “Gramps Jones”) once played High school football against Jack Kerouac. Naturally, we got Gramps to sit down and answer some questions about playing football against one of America’s most influential authors. So is it true you played High school football against Jack Kerouac? It sure is. Do you think you could tell us about...

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A Transylvanian Tale
Apr12

A Transylvanian Tale

Searching for silence in Romania Winter in the Eastern Bloc, it’s about 9pm, the night sky outside is blacker than hell. We are just about to cross the border by train between Hungary and the north of Romania; this is the frontier land before we reach Transylvania. The train slowly grinds to a halt and a couple of brutish looking Magyar border guards approach us and bark the singular word “passport”’ in our faces. We oblige and hand...

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A Postcard from Ginsberg
Apr12

A Postcard from Ginsberg

by Michael Hendrick In January 1976, Columbia Records released Desire, the Bob Dylan LP, replete with liner notes by Allen Ginsberg. I was 18 years old at the time and worked at a newspaper in Allentown, PA, as a copywriter/copyboy. Part of my duties included taking over the switchboard for half an hour, so the receptionist could take her 9:00pm break. The USA in the mid-70s was a steep peak in the landscape of drug-culture and just...

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On the Road changed my life… Kind of
Apr12

On the Road changed my life… Kind of

by Wayne Mullins One of the most common quotes you will hear from fans of Jack Kerouac is how reading his seminal novel On the Road changed their lives. I have come to the conclusion that sadly this isn’t actually true. I myself went through the same emotional rollercoaster after reading this book, but many years on I have figured out that sadly it hasn’t really changed my life a great deal (if at all), but that I just really, really...

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