We are proud to announce a forthcoming publication from Beatdom Books. Since 2007 we have specialized in books relating to the Beat Generation, including works such as Larry Beckett’s Beat Poetry, Eliot Katz’s The Poetry and Politics of Allen Ginsberg, and Marc Olmsted’s Don’t Hesitate: Knowing Allen Ginsberg. Our newest publication is John Tytell’s Beat Transnationalism, which will be released in May. Continue Reading…
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Later this month, Cambridge University Press is releasing The Cambridge Companion to the Beats, which features essays by Jonah Raskin, Regina Weinreich, Nancy Grace, Erik Mortenson, Kurt Hemmer, Oliver Harris, Brenda Knight, Hillary Holladay, Ronna Johnson, Polina MacKay, and others. From the Amazon listing:
Consummate innovators, the Beats had a profound effect not only on the direction of American literature, but also on models of socio-political critique that would become more widespread in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together the most influential Beat scholars writing today, this Companion provides a comprehensive exploration of the Beat movement, asking critical questions about its associated figures and arguing for their importance to postwar American letters.
In the past few months, we’ve brought you news about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs being translated into Chinese. It may seem like a minor miracle that these authors’ works have been allowed to go on sale in this notoriously censorious country, yet it is even more unusual that Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled escapades have been published for the Chinese market, too. Continue Reading…
Prior to the advent of the typewriter, convention said that one space should be inserted after a period and not two. During the reign of those clunky machines and their odd spaced type, two-spacing become customary. Unfortunately, even with the rise of the computer and intelligent publishing software, two-spacers are still in the majority.
Of course, one-spacing is, like all publishing standards and writing customs, a matter of consensus and fashion. There is no grand reason for it to be set as some writing law. There is no right way to write.
Publishers, though, need rules to help them publish magazines and books that are easy on the eye, and in this respect two-spacing proves problematic. Text with two-spaces following the period looks silly in print. There are too many large gaps. Of course, that’s yet another opinion. Some people also say that capitalization ruins a body of text, that literature looks better entirely in lower case. Some also say that quotation marks are unnecessary.
The Beat Generation existed during the reign of the typewriter. They were two-spacers, whereas their pen-wielding predecessors were one-spacers. The Beats were not much for convention, though. They were famous for, if nothing else, breaking the rules. So why should a supposedly Beat magazine care for custom and convention?
Here at Beatdom we have fewer rules than most, and we give our contributors more time than perhaps it is wise to do. We have a slim set of rules for submission, and yet they are rarely followed. This is understandable, since most writers will scour the internet for publications and simply fire off form letters. That’s the way it goes, and to dismiss every error-ridden, ill-formatted submission is to potentially miss a truly great piece of writing.
On our submission page, though, it states that writers should NOT use two-spaces after a period. This is because it looks bad in print and costs our editor(s) countless hours of their precious time in an extremely boring task. It is, of course, the job of the editor to make text presentable, but it is infuriating when so many writers ignore explicit instruction.
But this post is not meant to be a lecture, nor even an addition to the submission guidelines. Beatdom has stated its opinion on this contentious issue and would like to know more of what its readers think.