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A Compact Guide to Sources for Teaching the Beats.

That the Beats should be a subject of study in the established halls of learning is a peculiar, multifaceted irony. The Beats scorned stuffy academics, insisting that the literary establishment was boring. Various scholars and professors, distrustful of young, outspoken nonconformists, belittled the Beats. Neither group envisioned the Beat Generation as part of the curriculum in schools and universities.

In "Howl," Allen Ginsberg insisted that "the best minds of [his] generation" sought intellectual engagement but were "expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the window of the skull" (1956, 9). Finding no place in the halls of academe, the Beats journeyed through the underworld described in Ginsberg's poem. However, they also pursued the empirical path described in Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "Dog," living out their lives by "touching and tasting and testing everything" in order to be "real realist[s]" (1958a, 68).

Assessing the Beat movement, reviewers and commentators, who saw the Beats as a passing fad, charged that the Beats relied more on publicity than talent. For these established thinkers, the Beats served best as the object of caricature, ridicule and satire, not as standard material for the curriculum. [1]

This rift between the Beats and the established literati has endured; indeed, one might argue that the Beats, as underground individuals, gathered strength from vituperative remarks directed against them. The attackers, by being unduly aggressive, often embarrassed themselves more than those whom they attacked, and the victims of the attack won the sympathies of many observers, especially the young.

Now that more than fifty years have passed since the first manifestations of Beat spirit, the academy's hostility toward the Beats, though still strong, is considerably diminished. Mainstream publishers have added many Beat titles to their lists, and anthologies have established unified collections of numerous Beat authors. Distinguished literary organizations and major cities have welcomed and honored Beat writers, and reviews (even receptive, admiring reviews!) appear in the most recognizable newspapers and magazines in the nation. [2] Across the country, hundreds of colleges and universities now offer courses that incorporate the literature of the Beat Generation, and in many instances, entire courses are dedicated to the lives, literature, and art of the Beats. [3]

As the Beats become the focus of classroom activity, the teacher who intends to offer a course on the Beats must address various complex issues. For example, one must determine whether a Beat Generation actually exists. If the Beat Generation includes only the principal authors referred to in John Tytell's Naked Angels (1976), then no generation is truly determined; Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and a few others hardly constitute a generation. If the Beat Generation includes the dozens of authors in The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America (Charters 1983a), then the Beat Generation is an on-going, expanding movement whose characteristics are elusive and often contradictory. Because the diversity of the group overrides its unity, a generation is not formed.

If one decides to accept that the Beat Generation actually exists, then the elusive definition of the Beat Generation, which has proven troublesome throughout the history of the movement, becomes a classroom concern. To some degree, a mystique prevails. Remote to the conventional person, the beat figure's language and tastes are meant to exclude squares. Questions about the meaning of "beat" serve only to reinforce the hopeless conventionality of the questioner. Nevertheless, the questioning about "beat" is relentless, often overshadowing consideration of literary artistry. Although Kerouac, Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke, Norman Mailer, and others have published works and given interviews addressing the definitions of beat and Beat Generation, these explanations are pitted against a pop-culture impression of the Beats (or beatniks) generated by journalists often predisposed toward a story about sex, drugs, and kicks. [4] Ann Charters, Anne Waldman, Lisa Phillips, David Sterritt, and others ha ve written effectively to separate fact and legend, but the definition of beat (and the history of the changes in the definition) remains a persistent and ultimately unresolved issue. [5] In Thomas Parkinson (1961) and Lee Bartlett (1981), one finds collected articles that illustrate the diverse reactions to the Beat Generation. In Janet Forman's video (1990) numerous Beat writers comment on their generation and its definitions, and the language and style of their remarks contribute to a more complete understanding. On the audio recordings The Beat Generation (1992), various interviews, commentaries, and musical selections provide insider views, journalistic interpretations, and pop-culture images. Special anthologies, such as Brenda Knight's (1996) and Richard Peabody's (1997), recognize the contributions of women to the Beat movement, and Carole Tonkinson's (1995) captures Beat involvement with Buddhist beliefs. Philomene Long's video The Beat Generation: An Existential Comedy gives insight about West Coast Beats and relationships between men and women in the movement. Collections of photographs by Ann Charters (1986), Fred McDarrah (1985), Robert Frank (1996), Chris Felver (1996a), and Allen Ginsberg (1990, 1993) add to the broad view of the Beat movement, and works by David Sterritt (1998b), Jack Sargeant (1997), Lisa Phillips (1995b), and Rebecca Solnit (1990) afford a view of the Beats in the visual arts.

Having acknowledged the elusive boundaries of a generation and the slipperiness of definitions, a teacher must identify and select primary and secondary sources. If costs must be limited and coverage must be broad, an anthology may be the best choice. The Portable Beat Reader (Charters 1992b) is popular, but competing texts include The Beat Book (Waldman 1996a), Beat Voices (Kherdian 1995), The New American Poetry (Allen 1960; now reprinted by the University of California Press). Although anthologies suffer because of the need to present snippets rather than frill-length pieces, these collections are valuable because they offer a broad range of selections and include introductions, headnotes, lists of suggested readings, and other information. Moreover, the decisions that editors make about inclusions and exclusions reflect their interpretations of the Beat Generation. In the tables of contents in these books, one sees the diverse editorial chartings of who and what are in and out.

If a teacher demands broader coverage of fewer authors, he or she may select collections focused on individual writers. The cost is higher, but the depth on an individual writer is greater, despite the abridgment of some selections. One might turn to The Portable Jack Kerouac (Charters 1995b), Selected Poems (Ginsberg 1996), Collected Poems (Ginsberg 1984), Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader (Burroughs 1998), The Gary Snyder Reader (Snyder 1999), and These Are My Rivers (Ferlinghetti 1994). If the aim is to read unabridged texts, especially in the format of the original publications, then separate editions can be chosen. If several titles must be assigned for each author, costs go up noticeably, but the original City Lights editions of Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti are characteristically beat and remain economical. In addition, reading Kerouac's novels in unabridged versions is for many readers the only acceptable option and worth the extra investment, even at ten or twelve dollars per title. Of all the principal Beats, probably William Seward Burroughs suffers least from being presented in selected segments rather than full-length originals.When extracted from longer original texts, Burroughs's routines entitled "Twilight's Last Gleamings" and "Did I Ever Tell You About the Guy Who Taught His Asshole How to Talk?" remain humorous and inspire interest in Burroughs's experimental form which otherwise might deter some students. [6] The fragmentation in Burroughs's experimental form, which otherwise might deter some students.

Because Jack Kerouac is prolific, selecting titles by Kerouac for a course on the Beats is difficult. On the Road (1957) is essential, but when seeking a second or third selection, professors debate options such as The Dharma Bums (1958B), Visions of Cody (1969b), Dr. Sax (1959b), and Visions of Gerard (1964). Recently, special attention has been paid to Kerouac as a poet, whose Mexico City Blues (1959c), Heaven and Other Poems (1977), and Scattered Poems (1971) offer a less familiar but nonetheless important dimension of Kerouac. Kerouac's essays, such as "Beatific: On the Origins of the Beat Generation," "Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation," and "After Me, the Deluge," are insightful commentaries and may be found with other writings in Good Blonde & Others (1993a).

Taken as a whole, Jack Kerouac's prose forms the Legend of Duluoz which is the story of Kerouac's life. Extensively autobiographical, Kerouac's work inspires numerous biographies, including those by Ann Charters (1983b), Tom Clark (1990), Gerald Nicosia (1983), and Dennis McNally (1979). Substantive biographical information also appears in works by Joyce Johnson (1984) and by Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee (1978). More recent biographies have emphasized photography or have adopted a "tell-all" approach about Kerouac's sexuality, but these works do not match the scholarship of the biographies that predate them. [7]

Essential critical studies of Kerouac include Kerouac's Crooked Road: Development of a Fiction (Hunt 1981), which analyzes the composition of On the Road and Visions of Cody. Jack Kerouac (French 1986) is a compact,thoughtful survey of Kerouac's writings, as is John Tytell's treatment of Kerouac in Naked Angels (1976). Regina Weinreich (1987) analyzes Kerouac's distaste for revision and preference for a style based on immediacy and improvisation. James T. Jones (1992) provides a full-length study of Kerouac's noteworthy collection of poetry. Students working with On the Road are sure to benefit from reading "On the Road": Text and Criticism (Donaldson 1979), which presents Kerouac's novel with a series of critical articles appended.

To supplement the classroom experience of Kerouac, teachers may want to take advantage of various videos and audiotapes. The most famous video is Kerouac (Antonelli 1995), which has been released under various titles over the years. The video provides biographical details, interviews with many of Kerouac's associates, and footage of Kerouac's appearances on The Steve Allen Show in 1959 and Firing Line with William F Buckley in 1968. What Happened to Kerouac? (Lerner and MacAdams 1987) explores Kerouac's decline into alcoholism and also features scenes of Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show and Firing Line with William F. Buckley. Jack Kerouac's Road: A Franco-American Odyssey (Chiasson 1987) reveals Kerouac's French-Canadian background and includes Kerouac being interviewed in French. Audiotapes include abridged versions of On the Road (Kerouac 1993b), Visions of Cody (Kerouac 1996), and The Dharma Bums (Kerouac 1991). The Jack Kerouac Collection (Austin 1990) includes audio recordings of Kerouac reading from va rious works, and The Jack Kerouac Romnibus (1995) is a CD-ROM that offers plenty of information about the life and times of Kerouac and presents The Dharma Bums in hypertext. On the Internet, one can visit LitKicks at www.charm.net/-brooklyn to find information on Kerouac and the Beats in general. At www.nytimes.com/books/97/09/07/home/kerouac.html, a broad selection of reviews of Kerouac from The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, and The New York Times Magazine is available. At wwwgeocities.com/terrylyoung, links to a multiplicity of sites related to Kerouac can be found.

While Kerouac, albeit reluctantly, reigns as King of the Beats, Allen Ginsberg, who in Prague earned the title of King of May, is also indisputably a central figure among the Beats. The most often studied writings by Ginsberg include Howl and Other Poems (1956) and Kaddish and Other Poems (1961), but innumerable poems from throughout Ginsberg's career are excellent choices for class. In Howl and Other Poems, one must focus on the title poem, but "A Supermarket in California," "Sunflower Sutra," and "America" are all memorable titles from the historic Pocket Poets edition. In Kaddish and Other Poems, however, the title poem surpasses the other poems in the collection by such a wide margin that the additional poems are often forgotten. Beyond "Kaddish," in poems from other collections the confessional and sexual aspects of Ginsberg are well shown in "Ode to Failure," "Please Master," "White Shroud," and "Personals Ad." The political intensity of Ginsberg appears in "Wichita Vortex Sutra," "Homework," "Birdbrai n," "Plutonian Ode," and "Kral Majales." And the humor of Ginsberg is not to be overlooked in "Pull My Daisy," "Put Down Your Cigarette Rag," and "Mugging." These selections provide only a narrow glimpse of Ginsberg's overall production, and any professor who aims to consider appropriately Ginsberg's full work must personalize and expand upon the choices.

Like the writing of Kerouac, the works of Ginsberg are autobiographical, and one may wish to compare Ginsberg's work with the biographies. Ginsberg: A Biography (Miles 1989), unfolds the accomplishments of "the most famous living poet on earth," but Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Ginsberg (Schumacher 1992) is more elaborate, detailing not only Ginsberg's life and works but also the story of the Beat Generation as a whole. In Naked Angels (Tytell 1976), one finds compact biographical information, and Allen Ginsberg in America (Kramer 1969) presents impressions of the poet's daily life.

Among the studies of Allen Ginsberg most useful for students is Allen Ginsberg (Merrill 1988), which serves as an introductory survey. On the Poetry of Allen Ginsberg (Hyde 1984) is a diverse collection of articles and reviews which is sure to provide background for any student project. Marjorie Perloff's chapter, "A Lion in Our Living Room: Reading Allen Ginsberg in the Eighties" (1990), evaluates the critical response to Ginsberg, while The New Poets: American and British Poetry Since World War II (Rosenthal 1967) recognizes Ginsberg's excellence as a confessional poet. Helen Vendler, in a series of articles for The New Yorker (1978, 1986, 1996), Harvard (1997), and The New York Times Book Review (1973), provides insightful commentary. Howl (Ginsberg 1986) is a facsimile edition of the famous poem with so many additional materials appended that the book actually serves as a casebook on the poem.

For Ginsberg, audio-visual resources are especially numerous, and they have a great potential to enhance students' appreciation not only of Ginsberg's writing, but also of his charismatic appeal and his gift for oratory. Collections of Ginsberg's photographs (Ginsberg 1990 and 1993) provide insight about the poet's family, friends, and intellectual milieu. Audio recordings such as Allen Ginsberg (1994) and Bill Belmont's Howls, Raps and Roars (1993) document Ginsberg's public presentations and provide representative samples of his diverse styles and opinions. On video, many choices are available, but among the best are The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (Aronson 1993), Allen Ginsberg (MacAdams and Darr 1989), and A Moveable Feast (1991). The tapes present interviews with Ginsberg, comments from his family, friends, and associates, and readings done in various settings. On the Internet at www.charm.net/brooklyn, Levi Asher presents a wealth of information on Ginsberg, and the hypertext format creates endless links to further detail. More information and further links may be found at www.ginzy.com and www.geocities.com/SoHo/cafe/1281.

Though not as popular as Kerouac or Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs is a principal figure among the Beats. Older than either Kerouac or Ginsberg, Burroughs during the early contacts among the Beats stimulated unconventional intellectual exploration. In the writings of Burroughs, the descriptions of fantasies and the bizarre taste that characterizes some passages are pleasingly wacky and humorous for some, distressingly vulgar and abhorrent for others. Though Burroughs's style is often direct and standard in presentation, in many cases an experimental mode predominates, and in this mode, the lack of conventional narratives and character development makes the writing too remote for undedicated readers.

For a class on the Beats, Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959) is essential, but one may want to add Junky (1977) and The Yage Letters (Burroughs and Ginsberg 1963) in order to create an introduction to Burroughs's themes and forms. One may also select Nova Express (1964), The Wild Boys (1971), and The Soft Machine (1961), but Burroughs's experimental methods may prove unduly resistant for students. Later works, such as The Place of Dead Roads (1985b), Cities of the Red Night (1982), and The Western Lands (1987) may prove more readable than the experimental pieces.

Though the association between Burroughs's writings and his life is not as explicit as the association to be found in the cases of Kerouac and Ginsberg, the legend that surrounds Burroughs and his inclusion as a character in many Beat writings make the study of his life important. Having the facts behind a writer who supposedly is connected to the great wealth created by Burroughs business machines, who shot and killed his wife during an enactment of a William-Tell routine, and who spent many years in the underworld of petty crime and drug abuse is sure to interest any reader of Burroughs's writing. William Burroughs: El Hombre Invisible: A Portrait (Miles 1981), and Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs (Morgan 1988) are well-done biographies. An illustrated biography of Burroughs is Gentleman Junkie: The Life and Legacy of William S. Burroughs (Caveney 1998).

Scholarly studies of Burroughs include William S. Burroughs (Skerl 1985), which proves to be a compact yet thorough work written clearly and insightfully In Naked Angels (Tytell 1976), the section dedicated to interpretation of Burroughs enhances the reader's understanding of Burroughs's artistic background and literary invention, especially in Naked Lunch. Word Cultures (Lydenberg 1987) applies literary theory to the interpretation of Burroughs, and William S. Burroughs (Skerl and Lydenberg 1991) is a rich resource for students who benefit from the collection's survey of scholarship and selection of critical articles. Among the best articles in the volume are Mary McCarthy, "Burroughs' Naked Lunch," and Marshall McLuhan, "Notes on Burroughs." Timothy Murphy, Wising Up the Marks: The Amodern William Burroughs deals with the novels (Junky, Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine, Nova Express, The Ticket That Exploded, The Wild Boys, Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads, Queer, The Western Lands) and the va rious films, videos, and audio recordings by or about Burroughs, including feature films, documentaries, experimental collaborations, and various CD's and LP's.

A principal means of helping students overcome the apparent inaccessibility of the writings of William Burroughs is to present Burroughs himself on audio and video sources. Burroughs: the Movie (Brookner 1983) provides biographical background and samples of Burroughs in performance. Commissioner of Sewers (Maeck 1995) presents an interview and samples of performance. The Best of William Burroughs from Giorno Poetry Systems (Burroughs 1998a) is a set of four CD's providing a rich sampling of Burroughs in spoken-word performances. David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991), although based on Burroughs's life during the writing of Naked Lunch rather than the actual text of the novel, does reflect some of the spirit of the novel. Naked Lunch (Burroughs 1995c) and Junky (Burroughs 1997) are available (in abridged form) on audiotape with Burroughs himself as the reader. On CD's such as Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales (Burroughs 1993), Call Me Burroughs (Burroughs 1995c), and Dead City Radio (Burroughs 1990), one can he ar selections of readings by Burroughs, often with special musical accompaniment. Towers Open Fire (Balch 1995), now available on video, reveals Burroughs's collaboration with Anthony Balch on experimental films. Burroughs's readings and presentations immeasurably enliven his humor and therefore should be included in the classroom as part of the study of Burroughs. At http://www.geocities.com/terrylyoung and www.bigtable.com, one finds information and point-and-click access to several sites related to Burroughs.

To round out the study of the principal Beats, if time permits, teachers may incorporate journals, correspondence, and essays. The New Yorker (Kerouac 1998) has published selections from Kerouac's journals, whose editing is in the hands of Douglas Brinkley, and more than one hundred volumes of these journals remain to be published. Ann Charters (1995a) has edited one volume of Kerouac's correspondence, and a second collection is scheduled to appear. Some of the Dharma (Kerouac 1997), originally conceived as a manual of Buddhism for Allen Ginsberg, provides further insight into the personal writing Kerouac did in addition to his novels and poems. Similarly, letters, journals, essays, and recorded lectures by Ginsberg and Burroughs may offer worthwhile supplements to the study of their works. In particular, Journals Early Fifties Early Sixties and Journals Mid-Fifties: 1954-1958 (Ginsberg 1977, 1995) inform the discussion of Ginsberg. In the study of William Seward Burroughs, My Education (1995b) reveals the d ream world in the mind of the author. The Letters of William Burroughs (Harris 1993) and The Adding Machine: The Essays of William Burroughs (Burroughs 1985a) supplement not only interpretation of Burroughs but also the understanding of the Beats in general.

In trying to go beyond the principal Beats in order to cover the Beats in general, teachers who do not assign an anthology face problems in meeting goals of diversity and breadth. The selection of authors (and the justification of selections and exclusions) is a difficulty that follows naturally from the slipperiness in the definition of beat.

Anyone who has read On the Road responds to the book's hero, Dean Moriarty, and naturally has interest in the hero's real-life counterpart, Neal Cassady. Cassady's famous "Joan Anderson Letter," whose style inspired Kerouac, is included in Cassady's autobiography (1971). Additional letters may be found in Grace Beats Kharma (Cassady 1993), and special insights into Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg are available in Off the Road (Cassady 1991).

Beat history is similarly incomplete without recognition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti the gifted bookseller, editor, publisher, author, translator, and painter. A Coney Island of the Mind (1958) is Ferlinghetti's most perennially popular work, and because the text also includes poems from Pictures of the Gone World (1955), the collection is an outstanding sampling of Ferlinghetti's poetry. Ferlinghetti's translations, novels, travel journals, art reviews, and activist commentaries all deserve attention, too, if time permits, and the City Lights imprint, although its focus is broader than just Beat literature, is a key outlet for Beat authors. To recognize Ferlinghetti's intimacy with the visual arts, one might examine When I Look at Pictures (1990), a work that collects writings from throughout Ferlinghetti's career and presents each writing adjacent to a related work of visual art. Sandra Giannattasio (1996) presents prints of Ferlinghetti's own paintings and incorporates commentaries on the paintings. Chris Fe lver's video (1996b) covers the artist's life and presents his diverse opinions and accomplishments. A wealth of information about Ferlinghetti and his press is available at www.citylights.com.

Though not as multi-talented as Ferlinghetti, John Clellon Holmes, both as a novelist and essayist, is a key representative of Beat thinking. Go (1952a), Holmes' autobiographical novel, involves characters who correspond to Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, and others, and this novel is one of the earliest expressions of Beatness. Holmes' essay, "This Is the Beat Generation" (1952a), which originally ran in The New York Times Magazine, brings Kerouac's philosophy to light. Holmes' other essays, including "The Philosophy of the Beat Generation" (1958), "The Name of the Game," and "The Game of the Name," offer insider views of Beat artists and their milieu (Charters 1983a). If this collection proves inaccessible, one may find Holmes' essays in his own Passionate Opinions (1988a), Representative Men (1988b), Displaced Person (1987), and Nothing More to Declare (1967).

Like Holmes, Herbert Huncke is a voice from the beginnings of the Beat Generation. His life on Times Square, his interaction with underworld figures, his knowledge of the drug culture, and his familiarity with hip and underground language make him an important source. Autobiographical works, including The Evening Sun Turned Crimson (1980) and Guilty of Everything (1990), are highly representative of the comings and goings that characterize the Beats. The Herbert Huncke Reader (1997) compiles much of Huncke's work and reveals interconnections with and influences upon Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and many others.

Younger than many of the other first-generation Beats, Gregory Corso is nevertheless an important contributor to the movement, primarily as a poet. His poem "Marriage," perhaps his most famous work, is a delightfully comic revelation of the conflict between the Beat world and the world of convention and tradition. Selections from Gasoline, The Happy Birthday of Death, Long Live Man, Elegiac Feelings American, and Herald of the Autochthonic Spirit are to be found in Mindfield (1989), which is the best sampling of poetry from Corso's career.

Diane DiPrima, perhaps the most prominent woman among the mostly male Beat authors, was an editor of Floating Bear, an influential mimeo magazine now available in one binding as The Floating Bear: A Newsletter (DiPrima and Jones 1974). In A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980 (Clay and Phillips 1998), one finds rich background on numerous little magazines associated with the Beats. DiPrima's poetry is now collected in Pieces of a Song (1990) and Loba (1998). DiPrima refers to her Memoirs of a Beatnik (1988) as a potboiler, but a discerning reader recognizes DiPrima's skillfully ironic commentary on the popular perceptions of the Beat movement.

DiPrima's fellow editor of Floating Bear was LeRoi Jones, who is now Amiri Baraka. Granted Jones's participation in a black arts movement eventually led him away from the Beat movement, but while among the Beats, Jones was a prolific editor, working not only with DiPrima, but also with Hettie Jones on the production of Yugen, another little magazine that provided an important forum to Beat writers. A valuable collection of various writings is The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader (Jones 1991), which identifies periods in Baraka's development (including his Beat period) and features his famous short play, Dutchman (1964), winner of an Obie award.

Hettie Jones, in addition to being a co-editor of Yugen with LeRoi Jones, was a productive editor for Totem Press, which afforded valuable opportunities to writers whom mainstream presses rejected. Hettie Jones's chief connection to the Beat Generation is her memoir How I Became Hettie Jones (1990), which recounts her love relationship with LeRoi Jones and reveals the artistic milieu that surrounded the young couple in Manhattan. After writing various books about black women and Native American legends, Hettie Jones finds renewed expression as a poet in Drive (1998).

On the West Coast, in addition to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, various authors formed what is often called the San Francisco Renaissance, a literary outpouring that combined with the Beat movement, giving both movements new strength. The San Francisco Renaissance (Davidson 1989) offers valuable interpretation of this period. Michael McClure, one of the presenters at the historic 6 Gallery reading on October 7, 1955, was a major force among West Coast writers, working as editor, environmental advocate, poet, playwright, essayist, novelist, and linguistic innovator. McClure's editing of Ark II/ Moby I brought together the members of the Black Mountain poets and San Francisco writers, and in 1960 the combination of Beats, Black Mountain writers, and San Francisco artists took vibrant form in The New American Poetry (Allen 1960). Along with Ferlinghetti and David Meltzer, McClure edited Journal for the Protection of All Beings, whose run, though limited to three issues, provided a forum for new writing. In Jack Keroua c's The Dharma Bums, Desolation Angels, and Big Sur, various characters are variations on the personality of McClure. Dark Brown, which represents McClure's early poetry, is now reprinted in 3 Poems (1995). The Beard (1967) pitted Billy the Kid against Jean Harlow but also led to conflict between performers of the play and local censors, Scratching the Beat Surface (1982) and Lighting the Corners (1993) reveal McClure's powerful interpretations of the Beat movement.

Another presenter at the historic 6 Gallery reading was Gary Snyder whose connection to the Beats is made even stronger because he is depicted as Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums. Snyder himself prefers not to be labeled as a Beat poet, but his focus on nature and the environment, his interpretation of native culture and myths, and his investigation of Asian culture and religion significantly align him with central themes in Beat thinking. Among Snyder's close associates were Philip Whalen and Lew Welch, who were friends at Reed College, and in I Remain: The Letters of Lew Welch and the Correspondence of His Friends (Welch 1980), one finds clear examples of Snyder's thought in the 1950's and 1960's. Snyder is a prolific poet, whose books include Riprap (1959), Myths + Texts (1960), Cold Mountain Poems (1970), and Mountains and Rivers Without End (1996). In prose, Snyder is the author of Earth House Hold (1969), He Who Hunted Birds in His Father's Village (1979), The Old Ways (1977), and The Prac tice of the Wild (1990). The Gary Snyder Reader (1999) gathers a broad sampling of Snyder's work.

Like Snyder and McClure, Philip Whalen was a reader at the 6 Gallery, and again like Snyder, he is included as a character (Warren Coughlin) in Kerouac's The Dharma Bums. Whalen's first full-length book, Like I Say (1960), refers directly to many figures associated with the Beats, including Wieners, Olson, Creeley, McClure, Ginsberg, and Kerouac. Whalen has written the novels You Didn't Even Try (1967) and Imaginary Speeches for a Brazen Head (1972), but he is better known for his books of poetry, which include On Bear's Head (1969), Severance Pay (1970), The Kindness of Strangers (1976), and Decompressions (1977).

Lew Welch, the friend of Whalen and Snyder, is depicted as Dave Wain in Kerouac's Big Sur. Trip Trap (1993) is the collaborative effort of Welch, Kerouac, and Al Saijo written during a drive from San Francisco to New York in the fall of 1959. Ring of Bone (1973) provides easy access to a broad selection of works by Welch. A stylized narrative that nevertheless serves well as a biography of Welch and provides an impression of his milieu and the circumstances that led to Welch's apparent suicide is Genesis Angels (Saroyan 1979); also Sam Charter's "Lew Welch" (Charters 1983a) includes valuable references and photos, and Welch himself reads from "Hermit Poems" on Howls, Raps, and Roars (Belmont 1993).

Of all the Beat writers associated with the West Coast, Bob Kaufman may be the most innovative. Despite the efforts of police to suppress free expression, Kaufman persisted in organizing poetry events in North Beach, sometimes facing arrest. Cranial Guitar (1996) features an introduction by David Henderson and takes poems from Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness and The Ancient Rain and offers some "uncollected works." "Blues Note" and "Abomunist Manifesto" are included in The Beat Book (Waldman 1996). As one of the founders of Beatitude, Kaufman provided a forum for creative activity. Broadsides such as "Abomunist Manifesto" (1959), "Second April" (1959), and "Does the Secret Mind Whisper?" (1960) are characteristic of his creativity and innovation.

Joyce Johnson is a successful writer in her own right, but her connection to the Beat Generation, for many readers, stems mainly from her love relationship with Jack Kerouac. In fact, she was with Kerouac on the evening he picked up the New York Times (5 Sept. 1957) with Gilbert Millstein's stunning review of On the Road. Minor Characters (1984), the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984, is a memoir by Johnson that traces her maturation, recognizes the struggle of various women on the Beat scene to gain artistic recognition, and unfolds Johnson's connection to Kerouac. Johnson also discusses the Kerouac relationship in "Outlaw Days" (Charters 1983a). Other works include Come and Join the Dance (Glassman 1962), Bad Connections (1978), and In the Night Cafe (1989). On the companion cassette tapes to The Women of the Beat Generation (Knight 1996b) Johnson reads an excerpt from Minor Characters; The New York Beat Generation Show (1995) features commentary by Joyce Johnson.

David Meltzer refers to himself as a second-generation Beat writer. He served as co-editor of Journal for the Protection of All Beings (1961). Meltzer is noteworthy for his interviews with Rexroth, Everson, Ferlinghetti, Welch, McClure, and Brautigan (Meltzer 1976); Arrows (1974) offers a wide variety of Meltzer's writing.

Anne Waldman is younger than most Beat poets, yet she is closely connected to many Beat writers because of her work as editor, administrator, and writer. As editor, she has produced The Beat Book (1996), which presents extended selections from fourteen writers and offers background and bibliographical information. She has also edited Out of This World (1992), The World Anthology (1970), and Another World (1971). In addition Waldman has edited Disembodied Poetics (Waldman and Schelling 1994) and Talking Poetics (Waldman and Webb 1978). With Ron Padgett, she has led Full Court Press, and with Lewis Warsh, she has edited Angel Hair and Angel Hair Books. As administrator, she is co-founder and co-director of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she co-organized the 1982 conference on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of On the Road. Tapes of the events and readings at the 1982 conference are available from the Naropa Institute. She has written more than thirty pamph lets and books of poems, including Kill or Cure (1994), Iovis (1993), and Helping the Dreamer (1989).

Ed Sanders is noteworthy for his editing of Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, which ran for thirteen issues and featured Blackburn, Burroughs, Corso, Creeley, DiPrima, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, McClure, Mailer, Marshall, O'Hara, Olson, Oppenheimer, Snyder, Whalen, Wieners, and Sanders. The publication faced charges of obscenity. Sanders expanded his work as an editor, establishing Fuck You Press. Sanders's Peace Eye Bookstore, where Fuck You Press was housed, was raided in 1966. Obscenity charges were set aside with the help of the ACLU. Sanders is also famous for his participation in The Fugs, a musical group with whom Sanders recorded six albums during the period 1965-1969. Tales of Beatnik Glory (1973) is a recounting of the activities of Sam Thomas on the East Village scene in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Janine Pommy Vega was the friend and associate of numerous Beat writers, especially Herbert Huncke. Her life is very much affected by tragic death. Poems to Fernando (1968) chronicles the phases in the author's response to the death of her husband, Peruvian painter Fernando Vega. Journal of a Hermit (1974) was later revised as Journal of a Hermit + (1979). This collection, like Morning Passage (1976), draws from her experience in traveling to Peru and Colombia. Here at the Door (1978) is written in response to the death of her father. The Bard Owl (1980) collects poems from previous volumes and from various literary magazines. Janine Pommy Vega's most recent work is a collection of travel essays titled Tracking the Serpent (1997). On the companion cassette tapes to The Women of the Beat Generation (Knight 1996b), Janine Pommy Vega reads several pieces.

While this listing of authors, works, and materials is extensive, it remains a superficial compilation. Further bibliographical data and information about teaching the Beats are to be found in The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide (Lawlor 1998), which is the source for much of this article and points the way to many other bibliographical works on the Beats. While the teaching of the Beats already has a history of thirty years or more, the deaths of principal Beat authors and a haff century of perspective on the Beat movement are contributing to a new phase in Beat scholarship and expanded inclusion of the Beats in the canon and the curriculum.

Lawlor is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is the author of The Beat Generation: A Bibliographical Teaching Guide (1998.)

Notes

(1.) To support the idea that various critics believed that the Beats were poor literary artists with no talent and no ideas, one may refer to Hollander (1957,296-304), Podhoretz (1957, 20; 1958, 305-18), Gold (1957: 349-55),Trilling 1959, 214-230), and Didion (1966, 2-3). To support the idea that critics charged that the Beats received attention mostly because of publicity, especially in Time and Life, one may refer to "Big Day for Bards at Bay" (1957, 105-08), Podhoretz (1957, 20), "Squaresville" (1959, 31-37), O'Neil (1959, 114-116, 119-120, 123-124, 126, 129-130), and Will (1997, 56A). To support the idea that critics perceived the Beats as a passing fad that would soon be gone, one may refer to Leonard (1959, 331) and Ciardi (1960, 11-13;1961,48).

(2.) Viking has released a fortieth anniversary edition of Jack Kerouac's On the Road and a facsimile edition of his Some of the Dharma. Forthcoming are Atop an Underwood, ed. Paul Marion, which gathers short stories by Kerouac, and a second volume of selected Kerouac correspondence edited by Ann Charters. Barry Miles, through Holt, and Ellis Amburn, through St. Martin's, have written new and controversial biographies of Kerouac, and Douglas Brinkley is now readying for publication a new biography of Kerouac as well as a multi-volume collection of Kerouac's journals. New or forthcoming studies of the Beats include Holton (1999), Tytell (1999), Caveney (1999), Campbell (1999), Theado (1999), Jones (1999), Swartz (1999), Skau (1999), and George-Warren (1999). Grove Press now offers new reprints of Kerouac's Dr. Sax, The Subterraneans, Satori in Paris & Pic, and Lonesome Traveler, and Grey Fox Press has made available Trip Trap: Haiku on the Road, the collaborative work of Kerouac, Lew Welch, and Al Saijo. Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader is a new collection from Grove Press. Ginsberg's Collected Poems is published by HarperPerennial. Allen Ginsberg's Death and Fame: Last Poems, 1993-1997 is now available from HarperCollins. Ann Charters, Anne Waldman, and David Kherdian have edited current anthologies focused on the Beats. Modern Library has reprinted On the Road in recognition of the work's place on the list of great novels of the twentieth century, and interviews with Beat writers previously published in Paris Review are now available in Beat Writers at Work (also a Modern Library publication). The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Modern Language Association, and Pen America honor various Beat writers as members, and San Francisco has named Lawrence Ferlinghetti its Poet Laureate. Reviews and notices of the Beats appear in newspapers and journals nationwide, including The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Las Angeles Times, The New Republic, and other publica tions. Many universities, including Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have acquired extensive archives and special collections related to the Beats.

(3.) Research conducted by Research Assistant Jessica Hintz (made possible through a grant from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Foundation) reveals that 269 colleges and universities list in their catalogs courses that include significant discussion of the Beats. These classes are often courses in American and twentieth-century literature, and in many cases the courses are focused completely on the Beat movement. The Beats also are part of catalog descriptions for classes in history, political science, religious studies, sociology, and American studies.

(4.) For discussions of the meaning of "beat," see Holmes (1952, 10-22; 1958, 3538), Kerouac (1958,24,26; 1959,31-32,42,79). Ginsberg's "A Definition of the Beat Generation" is a series of manuscripts that are part of Friction, a magazine prepared at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and Ginsberg's definition is now included in Phillips (1995, 17-19). One finds Ginsberg's incisive definition also in Waldman (1996, xiii-xvii). Norman Mailer's "The White Negro," an insightful analysis of the hipster, was originally published in Dissent (1957,276-293), was reprinted by City Lights in 1957, and is now available in Charters (1992b). For examples of the popularized view of the Beats, see McDarrah (1985), "Squaresville" (1959: 31-37), and O'Neil (1959: 114-16, 119-20, 123-24, 126, 129-30).

(5.) See Charters (1992a, xv-xxxvi),Waldman (1996, xix-xxiii), Phillips (1995, 23-40), and Sterritt (1998, 1-16).

(6.) "Twilight's Last Glearnings," a section of Nova Express, is the opening footage in Brookner's film (1983). A section of Naked Lunch entitled "Did I Ever Tell You About the Guy Who Taught His Asshole How to Talk?" is on the audio book of Naked Lunch and on the CD Spare Ass Annie and Other Tales (1993). The Best of William Burrughs (Burroughs 1998a) is a comprehensive set of Burroughs's spokenword performances.

(7.) Turner (1996) is a biography with many photos; Amburn (1998) emphasizes homosexuality.

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Title Annotation:beat generation of American literature
Author:Lawlor, William
Publication:College Literature
Article Type:Critical Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:9657
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