Alt Lit as the New Beat Generation
Sep09

Alt Lit as the New Beat Generation

“Do you think in five years the national media will create a stupid term like blogniks to describe us?”   As a scholar of the Beat Generation, the recent public attention focused on the current phenomenon known as Alt Lit has inspired in me some observations of similarities between the two literary movements. Indeed, one could provide comparisons to other movements or “generations,” but for me the similarities between these two...

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Dylan the (Secretly) Well Dressed
Feb26

Dylan the (Secretly) Well Dressed

“You never seem to give yourself away completely, but of course dark-haired people are so mysterious.” Remark made by Lucien Carr to Jack Kerouac in Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters The black shirt with the white polka dots triggered the message that Bob Dylan was well dressed. It was subtle, but it was there in the cut of a tailored jacket, the angle of a hat, and the shape of his shades. This is a quick, informal, and...

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Down by Law
Feb22

Down by Law

“It’s a sad and beautiful world.”             Down by Law a 1986 black-and-white indie comedy starts with gorgeous shots of real life, low-lying New Orleans and two beat characters: Zack the DJ (Tom Waits) and Jack the pimp (John Laurie). They’re battered by women troubles and more troubles and that leads both to Orleans Parish Prison, where they contentiously share a cell—two framed, innocent men. Roberto (Roberto Benigni), an...

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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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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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Patti Smith and the Beats
Aug24

Patti Smith and the Beats

by Michael Hendrick “A hipster goes into a diner. ‘What kind of pie do you have?’ he asks. The waitress says, ‘The pie is gone.’ ‘Cool,’ says the hipster. ‘In that case, I’ll have two slices.’” -          Patti Smith, Philadelphia, 2003. We are a Generation of Beats. This Generation has more longevity than any other generation to date. I am 53 years old. I know Beats who are 20-something and the beginning of the movement was 60 years...

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“It was electric”: A conversation with Michael Sharp
Aug24

“It was electric”: A conversation with Michael Sharp

By Noel Dávila On Ginsberg’s anger & kindness, Kerouac’s “homo viator”, Burroughs’ excremental prose and a fateful evening in the American Midwest. “What is it you want to talk about, in case I have nothing to say?” I received the above message on my phone from Michael Sharp, who I’d been trying to sit down with for nearly three months. As our anticipated encounter approached I wondered at the possibility...

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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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