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BEAT


                                                    Early 2003
                                              January 28, 2007
                                        Rev:  October 12, 2007

This is (based on) an
introduction I wrote to
the wikipedia page for               It may not be up to
the Beat Generation:                 wikipedia standards,
                                     but I'm coming to the
                                     conclusion that this      (Though
                                     may be more their         it's not
                                     problem than mine.        like I
                                                               don't have
                                                               problems...)

   The term "beat generation" was introduced        BEAT_DROP
   by Jack Kerouac in approximately 1948 in
   conversation with the novelist John Clellon
   Holmes (who published an early novel about
   the beat generation, titled "Go", in 1952,
   along with an article in the "New York
   Times" Magazine: "This is the beat
   generation").  The adjective "beat"
   (introduced by Herbert Huncke) had the
   connotations of "tired" or "down and out",
   but Kerouac added the paradoxical
   connotations of "upbeat", "beatific", and
   the musical association of being "on the
   beat".                                          BEAT_PATROL

   Generalizing from his experiences in New York
   and calling this relatively small group of
   struggling writers, students, hustlers, and
   drug addicts a "generation" was to make the
   claim that they were representative and
   important -- the beginnings of a new trend,
   analogous to the influential Lost Generation.

   This might be seen as a display of
   perceptive insight, or perhaps as
   aggressive salesmanship or delusions of
   grandeur -- it might be best to think of
   it as an insight into some trends that
   became self-reinforcing: the label
   helped to create what it described.

   The members of the beat generation were new
   bohemian libertines, who engaged in a
   spontaneous, sometimes messy, creativity.
   The beat writers produced a body of written
   work controversial both for its advocacy of           KEROUAC
   non-conformity and for its non-conforming
   style.

   Echoes of the Beat Generation run throughout
   all the forms of alternative/counter culture          SIGHTING_SCENES
   that have existed since then (e.g. "hippies",
   "punks", etc).  The Beat Generation can be
   seen as the first modern "subculture".                BEATNIK_59

   The major beat writings are Jack Kerouac's
   "On the Road", Allen Ginsberg's                       HOWLERS
   "Howl", and William Burroughs'
   "Naked Lunch".  Both "Howl" and "Naked
   Lunch" became the focus of obscenity
   trials in the United States that helped to            BURROWING
   liberalize what could be legally published.

                                              LOOKING_FOR_JOAN_VOLLMER

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