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March 18, 2004
"The Beat Generation and
the Angry Young Men" (1958)
ed. Gene Felman and Max Gartenberg
This book is an amazing document.
I've got the 1959 Dell Paperback
edition: an old yellowing It has a yellowed
paperback, shorter than the ones dot matrix reciept
we're used to now (6 3/8 inches, vs slipped inside it
the standard 7). A cheap edition from the ISU bookstore
cranked out in the wake of the dated Jan 21, 1983.
phenomenal success of "On the Road" I don't remember this
(1957). bookstore at all,
though I hung out at
This is an anthology of essays, Idaho State in
poems and novel excerpts from Pocatello on occasion.
all sorts of interesting
writers, but fundamentally it's
a Beatnik Exploitation book.
The chapters all lead off with
pieces of introductory hype
that are all truly great
examples of their genre, even
cheesier than Bruce Sterling's
introductions in the
Try to imagine Rod Sterling doing this one:
"... he gave it also its Creed -- DIG EVERYTHING --
and its Trinity: Poet, Hoodlum and Junkie -- an
interlocked trio fused by a continuing dialogue.
Kerouac's characters are not impinged upon by the
society around them: they have fully succeeded in
making their own world, with places to go to,
things to do. And when they're not on the move,
there's always the big kick: the jazz combo whose
beat is beyond mind or reason, the hell-bent party
that promises there'll be no end, or the stick of
tea that will bring one back to the lap of God."
One interesting peculiarity is
that it covers two different
scenes/cultures, the "Beats" Though, what it
and also the British "Angry suggests to me is
Young Men", suggesting that that they couldn't
there's some kind of find enough "beat"
connection between the two. material to do a
There's a blurb on the back
"Defying society... convention...
the world -- the BEATNIKS and the Note: Herb Caen
ANGRIES speak their minds." coined "Beatnik"
in '58, here in
The "angries"? '59 it's cover
Well, okay. blurb material.
"The Angry Young Men" is one of
those literary movements that no
one seems to think every really
existed... but maybe that's always
the case with these things.
Success for a movement can
be defined as that point when
everyone must deny that they
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