William Blake and the Beat Generation
Oct30

William Blake and the Beat Generation

William Blake’s influence on the Beat Generation is arguably more significant than that of any other writer or artist. Most notably he was Ginsberg’s “guru” and the “catalyst” for his poetry, and even warranted a mention in “Howl”. Blake supposedly appeared to Ginsberg in 1945 and read “Ah Sun-flower”, and again in 1948 when Ginsberg was reading “The Sick Rose”. He explained, I was never able to figure out whether I was having a...

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The City Lights Bookstore: the Beatnik’s Mecca
Jan10

The City Lights Bookstore: the Beatnik’s Mecca

  There are few places around the globe that fully encompass all things Beat Generation in the same way as the City Lights Bookstore. Situated in the heart of San Francisco and owned by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the most prolific Beat Generation poets there is, the City Lights Bookstore is a Mecca for all beatniks and book lovers. A visit to City Lights is enough to transport anyone back to simpler times where you can focus...

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Homophobia in the Media’s Treatment of New Ginsberg Movie
Dec03

Homophobia in the Media’s Treatment of New Ginsberg Movie

by David S. Wills So Daniel Radcliffe is going to play Allen Ginsberg in a new movie, called Kill Your Darlings. The movie is about the murder of David Kammerer by Lucien Carr, a story which is part of Beat lore. Yet for some reason, when you search for news about this announcement on the internet, it seems that there is a varying level of interest in the subject matter. More high-brow publications are fascinated by the story of...

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Daniel Radcliffe to Play Allen Ginsberg
Nov30

Daniel Radcliffe to Play Allen Ginsberg

Apparently Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe, has agreed to play the role of Allen Ginsberg in John Krokidas’ new movie, Kill Your Darlings. The movie is said to revolve around the 1944 New York world of the Beats, focusing on the fallout from the murder of David Kammerer. Radcliffe takes over from Jesse Eisenberg, who was originally slated to play Ginsberg, and joins Chris Evans and Ben Wishaw in the line-up. The usual movie...

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Many Loves
Apr19

Many Loves

by Dr Madhu Mehrotra and Geetanjali Joshi Mishra “Resolved to sing no songs henceforth but those of manly attachment” -Walt Whitman “Longing is a better muse than satisfaction” says Regina Marler the author of ‘Queer Beat: How the Beats turned America onto sex’ and this is very true with regard to the nucleus of the generation which broke all rules of hegemonic, heterosexual, square society, a generation that questioned procreation...

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Big Sur: The Movie
Apr16

Big Sur: The Movie

This past year has been kind to fans of the Beat Generation. First there was “Howl”, the movie about Allen Ginsberg’s epic poem, starring James Franco and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Then came “On the Road”, adapted from Jack Kerouac’s classic novel, and starring Sam Reilly and Kristen Stewart. As it hasn’t reached the cinema yet, it remains to be seen whether it will...

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The Lady is a Humble Thing: Elise Cowen
Mar01

The Lady is a Humble Thing: Elise Cowen

By Karen Baddeley The Lady is a humble thing Made of death and water The fashion is to dress it plain And use the mind for border I remember watching the man I was supposed to marry through my peephole. He had just told me that he was going to marry someone else: a kindergarten teacher from Yonkers, a nice Irish Catholic girl. I am not a kindergarten teacher from Yonkers. He left and trotted down the hall and the stairs. I wondered...

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Howl Comes to the UK
Feb24

Howl Comes to the UK

‘Howl’, the wonderful movie starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, is set to hit UK cinemas on 25th February. For all UK fans of the Beat generation Beatdom strongly suggests that you go out and watch it. Franco is magnificent and the directors and artists have done a truly spectacular job in putting together this masterpiece. The UK distributor for this movie is Soda Pictures. You can watch a trailer and learn more...

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