Tag Archives: Beat Generation

Preview: Beating an international drum

The heart of the Beat Generation is generally linked to the US and most often to those great cities of cultural innovation, New York and San Francisco. But this literary and artistic movement left its mark in many other places, too, and a new volume promises to share a global take on the phenomenon. The Transnational Beat Generation, edited by Nancy M. Grace and Jennie Skerl, will be published this month by Palgrave Macmillan. Here’s a comprehensive trail of its contents:

The Transnational Beat Generation

‘Introduction to Transnational Beat: Global Poetics in a Postmodern World’
Nancy M. Grace, The College of Wooster, and Jennie Skerl, West Chester University

Part I – Transnational Flows

‘William S. Burroughs and U.S. Empire’
Allen Hibbard, Middle Tennessee State University

‘Jack Kerouac and the Nomadic Cartographies of Exile’
Hassan Melehy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

‘Beat Transnationalism under Gender: Brenda Frazer’s Troia: Mexican Memoirs
Ronna C. Johnson, Tufts University

‘The Beat Manifesto:  Avant-Garde Poetics and the Worlded Circuits of African-American Beat Surrealism’
Jimmy Fazzino, University of California Santa Cruz

‘The Beat Fairy Tale and Transnational Spectacle Culture:  Diane di Prima and William S. Burroughs’
Nancy M. Grace, The College of Wooster

‘Two Takes on Japan:  The Japan and India Journals by Joanne Kyger and Philip Whalen’s Scenes of Life at the Capital
Jane Falk, University of Akron

‘“If the Writers of the World Get Together”: Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Literary Solidarity in Sandinista Nicaragua’
Michele Hardesty, Hampshire College

Part II – Reflections on the Transnational Beat:  Interview with Anne Waldman

Part III – Global Circulation

‘“they . . . took their time over the coming”:  The Postwar British/Beat 1957-1965’
R. J. Ellis, University of Birmingham

‘Beating Them to It?  The Vienna Group and the Beat Generation’
Jaap van der Bent, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

‘Prague Connection’
Josef Rauvolf, Prague, Czech Republic

Cain’s Book and the Mark of Exile: Alexander Trocchi as Transnational Beat’
Fiona Paton, State University of New York at New Paltz

‘Greece and the Beat Generation:  the Case of Lefteris Poulios’
Christopher Gair, University of Glasgow, and Konstantina Georganta, University of Edinburgh

‘Japan Beat:  Nanao Sakaki’
A. Robert Lee, Nihon University


Review: New novel’s Scroll goal

Larry Closs’ novel Beatitude, which came out in late 2011, is a sharp, smart novel with a human voice and some neat interweavings of memory and the present. Set in the recent past in a largely gay milieu in the media world of Manhattan, it avoids the usual posing or pretentiousness of fiction located in that hip, midtown mode. Rather, it is a story whose narrator has warmth and it is driven by a dialogue that is convincing and engaging. But the book is more than just a tale of quotidian romance in the upper storeys of a bejewelled urban isle – it also makes regular reference to the Beat Generation writers which drew me in still further.

It opens as Harry, the storyteller, and his friend Jay go searching on a grail-like mission to view Jack Kerouac’s legendary Original Scroll for his most famous novel On the Road and the book proper then commences with an almost direct reference to the opening lines of Kerouac’s own signature text. Yet Beatitude, which takes its title from Kerouac’s extension of the word Beat to embrace notions of the saintly and also incorporates some unpublished fragments of poetry by that other Beat giant Allen Ginsberg in its pages, is more than a mere derivative homage. It is an authentic contemporary account, enlightened by appealing Beat details, but its main strength is in its ability to convey plausible conversations between its believable dramatis personae.

Beatitude is published by Rebel Satori Press, Hulls Cove, ME

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