Summer Beat Reading

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The summer of 2013 sees the release of yet more promising contributions to the field of Beat studies. In Beatdom #13 we will be reviewing each publication, but here is a little information for those of you who’re too eager to wait. Two of these books were written by Beat contributors, so we’re doubly excited about their release.

 

This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995

by James Lough

“During its heyday, the Chelsea Hotel in New York City was a home and safe haven for Bohemian artists, poets, and musicians such as Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, and Dee Dee Ramone. This oral history of the famed hotel peers behind the iconic façade and delves into the mayhem, madness, and brilliance that stemmed from the hotel in the 1980s and 1990s. Providing a window into the late Bohemia of New York during that time, countless interviews and firsthand accounts adorn this social history of one of the most celebrated and culturally significant landmarks in New York City.”

Read our review: http://www.beatdom.com/?p=2534

 

Text and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture

by Simon Warner

“Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll explores the interaction between two of the most powerful socio-cultural movements in the post-war years – the literary forces of the Beat Generation and the musical energies of rock and its attendant culture.”

 

American Hipster: A Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement

by Hilary Holladay

“American Hipster: The Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement tells the tale of a New York sex worker and heroin addict whose unrepentant deviance caught the imagination of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. Teetering between exhaustion and existential despair, Huncke (rhymes with “junky”) often said, “I’m beat, man.” His line gave Kerouac the label for a down-at-the-heels generation seeking spiritual sustenance as well as “kicks” in post-war America.”

 

Scientologist!: William S. Burroughs and the ‘Weird Cult’

by David S. Wills

“Scientology is largely overlooked in major texts about the life and work of William S. Burroughs, author of some of the most notorious literature of the 20th century. Its importance in the creation of the Cut-up Method and Burroughs’ view of language as a virus is undermined by the omission of details regarding his interest in the religion over the course of a decade – certainly the most creatively fertile period of his life. Instead, biographers and critics tend to focus on his other obsessions in the realm of fringe science, and on the period during the early 1970s when Burroughs left the religion and began a public crusade against it.”

 

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David S. Wills

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David S. Wills is the founder and editor of Beatdom literary journal and the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs the Weird Cult.He travels a lot and currently lectures in China. He also runs an ESL website. You can read more about and by David at his blog, www.davidswills.com or on Tumblr.

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