Archives For europe

Jean-Louis Wept

“I cried in the Cathedral of the Savior to hear the choir boys sing a gorgeous old thing, while angels seemed to be hovering around—”

Jack Kerouac, “Big Trip to Europe”

Jean-Louis wept
Affects and effects
Choir boys sang
Sending a pang
In lonesome heart
Romanesque art
Lonesome travels
One unravels
Cezanne’s greens
Baptistery scenes
Smokyblue hills
Rust reds fulfill
Road visions
Vermouth rhythms
Lucid liquid diamond
Infants understanding silence
Angels sing
Angels sing
Lonesome travels
Weeping unravels
Kerouac, Jack. Road Novels 1957-1960. (New York: Penguin, 2007). pp. 749-750.

Exiled on Beat Street

In 1957 Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky were in the midst of the obscenity trials in the US surrounding the publication of Ginsberg’s poem Howl. After being shunned by the clean-cut conservative American public, (who despised homosexuality and Ginsberg’s outspoken nature in the radicalised work) the pair went left to seek refuge in more liberal and artistic France. Eventually the couple sought exile with fellow Beat poet Gregory Corso in their very own sanctuary of creativity which happened to be a no-name, beaten-up hotel at 9 Rue Gît-Le-Coeur in the Latin quarter of Paris. The cheap and tacky hotel was later to be christened the Beat hotel by Corso. Continue Reading…

European Beat Studies Network

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at the European Beat Studies Network (ESBN) – a guide to some of the people studying the Beat Generation. The project is still in its infancy, but looks promising.