Archives For christmas

Dostoyevsky’s Heavenly Christmas Tree

For “electronic laser TV generations that don’t read Dostoyevsky” quoth Allen Ginsberg

Fyodor, Fedor, Feodor
Dostoevski, Dostoievsky, Dostoevskii, Dostoevsky, Dostoyevsky was a psychologist, pardon, novelist
His Christmas story is about a six-year-old boy, perhaps younger than six
The boy is in a great city
Alone with a sick mother
In a cold damp cellar
He touches his mother
So cold is she
Dead cold
It’s dark in the cellar
And the boy is haunted by barking from a ferocious dog
He ventures up to the unknown street

He recalls thousands of barking howling packs of dogs in his home town
In this unknown place, stone streets are frozen with snow
Steam hangs from the mouths of horses
A policeman turns to avoid him

Another street
This one lit by lights
And a glass window with a marvelous tree
Decorated with toys and apples and many lights
Pretty children dressed in best clothes play
And on a table yellow, red, and almond cakes
A lady hands him a kopek
But it rolls away
And he cries, poor wretched little, little boy
Another glass window
With dolls dressed in green and red
So real he laughs
A big wicked boy knocks him down
So he hides behind a wood stack
He warms up
And hears his mother sing

A soft voice calls, “Come to my Christmas tree”
A bright light!
Another tree, like he’s never seen
With boys and girls flying
They kiss him
His joy-filled mother laughs

This is the Christmas tree of Christ
For children frozen
Died of bad air
Angels and crying mothers
Flying, kissing, and happy children

“The Heavenly Christmas Tree” was written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1876.

Beatdom Books on Kindle

It seems that one of the hottest Christmas presents this year was a shiny Kindle gift card. It’s really a great idea. There are a ton of wonderful publications on Kindle these days and they can be downloaded in a matter of seconds. But the problem is – as always – what to buy, of the many, many titles out there.

Well, call us biased, but we think that Beatdom Books has some great options. Of course, there are issues of Beatdom magazine – well, only issues nine and ten. These contain some brilliant essays, short stories, and poems, so there’s a little something for everyone. What’s more, they’re dirt cheap! A copy of Beatdom on your Kindle will set you back around a dollar.

If you’re looking for a novel to curl up with over the coming cold months, think about David S. Wills’ The Dog Farm, a rum-soaked romp from the “wrong side of the world”. It’s the second biggest story from the Korean peninsula in 2010, beaten only to the punch by the death of a tyrant.

For a shorter, weirder read, take a look at Spencer Kansa’s debut novel, Zoning. A tale of magic and madness from a warped world, this wild ride will keep you glued to your Kindle all night. Beat fans will probably know Kansa from his interviews with legendary Beat figures, including his friend, William S. Burroughs.

Beatdom Growth

Firstly, I would like to say “Merry Christmas!” (or Happy Holidays) to our readers and to those of you who’ve just stumbled upon the website. Beatdom is neither Christian or Jew or Muslim or Buddhist or whatever. But we love Christmas. We are capitalist swine and we love gifts and food.

I would like to also take this chance to say “Thank you!” (the capitalization and exclamation point are necessary) for visiting and for reading the magazine. These past few months have seen tremendous growth across all of our online endeavours, as well as in sales. The new website seems very popular, and as we iron out all the little bugs we appreciate the links from other sites that seem to be popping up across the web.

Lastly, I’d like to make a few announcements about the long awaited (yup, it’s been around six months) eighth issue of Beatdom. This will be the sex issue. Submissions are now closed and you can expect to see a few more notices popping up over the coming weeks about developments in editing and whatnot. For the moment, we have a list of tentative inclusions that we’d like to share:

We have essays on: Bob Dylan as a romantic

Jack Kerouac and sex

Gary Snyder, Diane di Prima and the male/female poetic divide

Female Beat writers and the second-wave feminist movement

Elise Cowen

Allen Ginsberg’s sexuality

Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski and waitresses



An oral biography of Gregory Corso

An interview with Carolyn Cassady

And here’s a sneak peak at the cover…

Merry Christmas from William S. Burroughs

It was Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

This beat benny wouldn’t pawn for a deuce, he thought.

The Beat Generation has its own twisted take on the sentimental Christmas movie in Nick Donkin’s claymation rendering of “The Junky’s Christmas.” Originally a story in William S. Burroughs’ Interzone, the tale of Danny the Car Wiper’s search for a Christmas fix has become a favourite among fans of the Beats.

Beginning with the traditional author-by-the-fire image, the short film slips quickly into claymation and follows the story of our hero, Danny, as he tries to scrape together the cash for some holiday smack. The movie has an odd take on kindness and giving, and includes perhaps the first “immaculate fix.”

At the end of the movie we are presented with footage of Burroughs at home in Lawrence, Kansas, with his friends. He is carving a turkey on Christmas day, bringing an odd feel-good moment to an odd feel-good short film.

Take a look for yourselves…

Merry Christmas, Doctor Thompson

Christmas is coming and if you’re looking for the perfect literary gift for a loved one, try the special Hunter S. Thompson box set – containing all four of Wayne Ewing’s fantastic HST movies.

To whet your appetite take a look at Wayne’s most recent blog post on the subject of Hunter and Christmas… Including a familiar video of an act of xmas arson.


And here’s a little gift from Beatdom: a couple of HST Christmas quotes that we dug out for you.

“Anybody who acted happy on Christmas was lying — even the ones were getting paid $500 an hour….The Jews were especially sulky, and who could blame them? The birthday of Baby Jesus is always a nervous time for people who know that ninety days later they will be accused of murdering him.”

It is all well and good for children and acid freaks to still believe in Santa Claus — but it is still a profoundly morbid day for us working professionals. It is unsettling to know that one out of every twenty people you meet on Xmas will be dead this time next year… Some people can accept this, and some can’t. That is why God made whiskey, and also why Wild Turkey comes in $300 shaped canisters during most of the Christmas season.”

“Fear and Loathing in Elko” Rolling Stone (199201-23)