Beat poets

Discussion in 'Glossary Term of the Day' started by MsJacquiiC, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. MsJacquiiC

    MsJacquiiC
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    The Beat Poets were a national group of poets who emerged from San Francisco’s literary counterculture in the 1950s. Central elements of "Beat" culture included experimentation with drugs and alternative forms of sexuality, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and the idealizing of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being.

    Its ranks included Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, and Gary Snyder. Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959) and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature. Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that ultimately helped to liberalize publishing in the United States.

    The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. Beat poetry is largely free verse, often surrealistic, and influenced by the cadences of jazz, as well by Zen and Native American spirituality.

    [fieldset=The Beats Comment On The Beat Generation]
    • "But yet, but yet, woe, woe unto those who think that the Beat Generation means crime, delinquency, immorality, amorality ... woe unto those who attack it on the grounds that they simply don’t understand history and the yearning of human souls ... woe in fact unto those who make evil movies about the Beat Generation where innocent housewives are raped by beatniks! ... woe unto those who spit on the Beat Generation, the wind’ll blow it back."
      -- Jack Kerouac

    • "Three writers do not a generation make."
      -- Gregory Corso (sometimes also attributed to Gary Snyder)

    • "Nobody knows whether we were catalysts or invented something, or just the froth riding on a wave of its own. We were all three, I suppose."
      -- Allen Ginsberg
    [/fieldset]​
     
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