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The Beat Generation inspiration from Whitman, Buddha, eastern religion; Spontaneity, opposition to constructing forms poetic or political;

; Language of drug subculture; Black music; Comic touches

The Beat Generation works highlighted the primacy of such Beat Generation essentials as spontaneity, open emotion, visceral engagement in often gritty worldly experiences; in a seeming paradox. The Beats often emphasized a spiritual yearning, using concepts and imagery from Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, and so on. Thus members of the Beat Generation sought a synthesis of the "beaten down" and the "beatific. One of the most well publicized aspects of Beat writing is the continual challenge to the limits of free expression. The Beat writers produced a body of written work controversial both for its advocacy of non-conformity and for its non-conforming style.

The Beat Generation is a term used to describe both a group of American writers, the friends Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs and Corso, who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the cultural phenomena that they wrote about and inspired:
a rejection of mainstream American values experimentation with drugs and alternate forms of sexuality and an interest in Eastern spirituality

Later sometimes called beatniks"

Origin of name Author Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948, generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time. The name came up in conversation with the novelist John Clellon Holmes. The adjective "beat" came to the group through the underworld association with Herbert Huncke where it originally meant "tired" or "beaten down". Kerouac expanded the meaning of the term, over time adding the paradoxical connotations of "upbeat", "beatific", and the musical association of being "on the beat - the Beat Generation was on the bottom, but they were looking up. Other adjectives discussed by Holmes and Kerouac were "found" and "furtive." Kerouac's claim that he had identified a new trend analogous to the influential Lost Generation might have seemed grandiose at the time, but in retrospect it's clear that he was correct though possibly largely because the prophecy was self-fulfilling.

Early meetings in 1940s and early 1950s The original "Beat Generation" writers met in New York: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, in 1948 and later in 1950, Gregory Corso. Perhaps equally important were the less obviously creative members of the scene, who contributed to the writers' intellectual environment and provided them with subject matter. There was Herbert Huncke, a drug-addict and petty thief who met Burroughs in 1946 and introduced the core members of the New York Beats to the junky life style and junky lingo, including the word beat; Lucien Carr, who was key to introducing many of the central figures to one another; and Hal Chase, an anthropology student from Denver, who, in 1947, introduced into the group Neal Cassady, the focus of many beat works.

Early meetings in 1940s and early 1950s Also important were the oft-neglected women in the original circle, including Joan Vollmer and Edie Parker. Later, the central figures ended up together in San Francisco in the mid-1950s where they met and became friends with figures associated with the San Francisco Renaissance such as Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Harold Norse, Lew Welch, and Kirby Doyle. There they met many other poets who had migrated to San Francisco because it had a reputation as an important new center of creativity. This included Bob Kaufman who was, according to legend, the first to actually be called a "beatnik." Also of significance were Philip Lamantia, Tuli Kupferberg, and members of the recently dissolved Black Mountain College looking for a new center of communal creativity, poets such as Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, and Robert Duncan.

Early meetings in 1940s and early 1950s Also important were the oft-neglected women in the original circle, including Joan Vollmer and Edie Parker. Later, the central figures ended up together in San Francisco in the mid-1950s where they met and became friends with figures associated with the San Francisco Renaissance such as Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Harold Norse, Lew Welch, and Kirby Doyle. There they met many other poets who had migrated to San Francisco because it had a reputation as an important new center of creativity. This included Bob Kaufman who was, according to legend, the first to actually be called a "beatnik." Also of significance were Philip Lamantia, Tuli Kupferberg, and members of the recently dissolved Black Mountain College looking for a new center of communal creativity, poets such as Robert Creeley, Edward Dorn, and Robert Duncan.

Early meetings in 1940s and early 1950s Many writers were inspired by the publication of "Howl" and On the Road and decided to join the group. The Beats met most of these writers when they returned to New York: John Wieners, LeRoi Jones, Diane DiPrima, Anne Waldman. The New York School of poets, including Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, John Ashbery, and James Schuyler, though Ashbery and Schuyler werent quite as closely associated with the Beats, had already been established as a movement in New York; they found much in common with this ever-widening circle and consistently promoted one another's work.

Columbia University The beginning of the Beat Generation is often traced back to Columbia University to the meeting of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Hal Chase, and others in the original circle. Although they were later considered anti-academic artists, the seed for the Beat Generation was planted in a highly academic environment. Many of their early ideas were formed during arguments with professors such as Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren. This was the same environment in which some of their classmates, such as Louis Simpson and Donald Hall, became champions of formalism. This is where Carr and Ginsberg discussed the need for a "New Vision" - a term borrowed from Arthur Rimbaud to move away from Columbia University's conservative notions of literature.

Columbia University They soon met people outside of Columbia University such as Burroughs, Hunke, and Cassady and the new focus became real life experiences in contrast to the academic environment of Columbia. Perhaps the most important early experience that drew most of the members of the Beat Generation together was Lucien Carr's stabbing of David Kammerer. This was one reason why Burroughs maintained his close-but-distant relationship with the rest of the Beats. The stabbing was an incident that Kerouac tried to capture twice, once in his first novel The Town and the City and then again in one of his last, Vanity of Duluoz.

Columbia University Burroughs was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1914, making him roughly ten years older than most of the other original beats. While still living in St. Louis, Burroughs met David Kammerer, and thus began an association presumably based on their shared homosexual orientation and intellectual tendencies. As a boys' youth-group-leader in the mid1930s, David Kammerer had become infatuated with the young Lucien Carr with what encouragement, if any, it is difficult to say. Kammerer formed a pattern of following Carr around the country as Carr attended and was expelled from different colleges. In the fall of 1942, at the University of Chicago, Kammerer introduced 17-year-old Lucien Carr to William S. Burroughs.

Columbia University Burroughs was a Harvard-graduate who lived off a stipend from his relatively wealthy family. His grandfather had invented the Burroughs Adding Machine, though the amount of wealth in the family is often exaggerated. The three became good friends, whose sprees got Burroughs kicked out of his rooming-house and culminated with Carr confined in a mental ward after an apparent attempted suicide with a gas oven, one version of the story holds that this was a way of avoiding military service. In the spring of 1943, Carr's family moved him to Columbia University in New York, where Kammerer, and then Burroughs shortly followed.

Columbia University At Columbia, Carr met the freshman Allen Ginsberg, whom he introduced to Burroughs and Kammerer. Edie Parker, another member of the crowd, introduced Carr to her boyfriend Jack Kerouac when he came back from his stint as a merchant marine. In 1944, Carr introduced Kerouac and Burroughs. Kammerer's fixation was obvious to everyone in the circle, and he became jealous as Carr developed a relationship with a young woman (Celine Young). In midAugust, 1944, Lucien Carr killed him with a boy scout knife in what may have been self-defense after an altercation in a park on the Hudson River. Carr disposed of the body in the river. He then sought advice from Burroughs, who recommended that he get a lawyer and turn himself in with a claim of self-defense. Instead, Carr went to Kerouac, who helped him dispose of the weapon. The following morning, Carr turned himself in, and Kerouac and Burroughs were charged as accessories to the crime. Burroughs got the money for bail, but Kerouac's parents refused to post it for him. Edie Parker and her family came through, with the condition that she and Kerouac be married immediately.

The Times Square "underworld Burroughs had an interest in experimenting with criminal behavior and gradually made contacts in the criminal underground of New York, becoming involved with dealing in stolen goods and narcotics and developing a decades-long addiction to opiates. Burroughs met Herbert Huncke, a small-time criminal and drug-addict who often hung around the Times Square area. The beats found Huncke a fascinating character. As Ginsberg put it, they were on a quest for "supreme reality", and felt that Huncke, as a member of the underclass, had learned things that were sheltered from them in their middle-class lives.

The Times Square "underworld In 1949 Ginsberg got in trouble with the law because of this association. Ginsberg let Huncke stay with him for a brief time as referenced in the line from Howl, "who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the showbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium. Ginsberg's apartment was subsequently packed with stolen goods. He rode with Huncke to transport these stolen goods which led to a car chase with the police. Ginsberg pleaded insanity and was briefly committed to Bellevue Hospital, where he met Carl Solomon. When committed, Carl Solomon was more eccentric than psychotic.

The Times Square "underworld A fan of Antonin Artaud, he indulged in some self-consciously "crazy" behavior, e.g. throwing potato salad at a lecturer on Dadaism. Ted Morgan also mentions an incident when he stole a peanut-butter sandwich in a cafeteria and showed it to a securityguard. If not crazy when he was admitted, Solomon was arguably driven mad by the shock treatments applied at Bellevue, and this is one of the things referred to many times by Ginsberg in "Howl" which was dedicated to Carl Solomon. After his release, Solomon became the publishing contact who agreed to publish Burroughs' first novel Junky (1953), shortly before another episode resulted in his being committed again.

Neal Cassady The introduction of Neal Cassady into the scene in 1947 had a number of effects. A number of the beats were enthralled with Cassady Ginsberg had an affair with him and became his personal writing-tutor; and Kerouac's road-trips with him in the late 40s became a focus of his second novel, On the Road. Cassady is one of the sources of "rapping" - the loose spontaneous babble that later became associated with "beatniks. He was not much of a writer himself, though the core writers of the group were impressed with the free-flowing style of some of his letters, and Kerouac cited this as a key influence on his invention of the spontaneous prose style/technique that he used in his key works. On the Road is the book where Kerouac began to write in this manner, and it transformed Cassady, under the name "Dean Moriarty, into a cultural icon: a hyper wildman, frequently broke, going from woman to woman, car to car, town to town; largely amoral, but frantically engaged with life.

Neal Cassady The delays involved in the publication of Kerouac's On the Road often create confusion: The novel was written in 1951 shortly after John Clellon Holmes published Go, and the article "This is the Beat Generation" and it covered events that had taken place earlier, beginning in the late '40s. Since the book was not published until 1957, many people received the impression that it was describing the late '50s era, though it was actually a document of a time ten years earlier.

Neal Cassady The legend of how On the Road was written was as influential as the book itself: High on benzedrine, Kerouac typed rapidly on a continuous scroll of telegraph-paper to avoid having to break his chain of thought at the end of each sheet of paper. Kerouac's dictum was that "the first thought is best thought", and insisted that you should never revise a text after it is written though there remains some question about how carefully Kerouac observed this rule, at least in the case of On the Road which is sometimes regarded as his "transitional" work. Although Kerouac maintained that he wrote this particular book in one three-week burst, it is clear from manuscript evidence that he had previously written several drafts and had been contemplating the novel for years. Also, the text went through many changes between the final "scroll" manuscript and the published version.

San Francisco Some time later there was much cross-pollination with San Francisco - area writers: Ginsberg, Corso, Cassady, and Kerouac each moved there for a time, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, one of the partners who ran the City Lights Bookstore and press, became a focus of the scene as well as the older poet Kenneth Rexroth, whose apartment became a Friday night literary salon. Ginsberg was introduced to Rexroth by an introductory letter from his mentor William Carlos Williams, an old friend of Rexroth's. When Ginsberg was asked by Wally Hedrick to organize the famous Six Gallery reading in October 1955, Ginsberg had Rexroth serve as master of ceremonies. In a sense, Rexroth was bridging two generations.

San Francisco This reading included the first public performance of Ginsberg's poem How and thus it is considered one of the most important events in the history of the Beat Generation. It brought East Coast and West Coast poets together in public performance for the first time, and the reading quickly sparked a legend and led to many more readings around California by the now locally famous Six Gallery poets. Soon after the Six Gallery reading, Ferlinghetti wrote Ginsberg a letter, saying, "I greet you at the beginning of a brilliant career. When do I get the manuscript?" This was an adaptation of Emerson's comment about Whitman's poetry, a prophecy of sorts that Howl would bring as much energy to this new movement as Whitman brought to 19th-century poetry. This is also a marker of the beginning of the Beat movement, since the publication of Howl and the subsequent obscenity-trial brought nationwide attention to many of the other members of this group.

San Francisco An account of the Six Gallery reading forms the second chapter of Jack Kerouac's 1958 novel The Dharma Bums, a novel whose chief protagonist is a character based on one of the poets who had read at the event, Gary Snyder, called "Japhy Ryder" in Kerouac's roman clef. Most of the people in the Beat movement had urban backgrounds and they found Snyder to be an almost exotic individual, with his rural and back-country experience, and his education in cultural anthropology and Oriental languages. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has referred to him as "the Thoreau of the Beat Generation". One of the primary subjects of The Dharma Bums is Buddhism, and the different attitudes that Kerouac and Snyder have towards it. The Dharma Bums undoubtedly helped to popularize Buddhism in the West.

Women of the Beat Generation There is typically very little mention of women in a history of the early Beat Generation, and a strong argument can be made that this omission is largely a reflection of the sexism of the time, rather than a reflection of the actual state of affairs. Joan Vollmer, later, Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs, was clearly there at the beginning of the Beat Generation, and all accounts describe her as a very intelligent and interesting woman. But she did not herself write and publish, and unlike the case of Neal Cassady, no one chose to write a book about her. She has gone down in history as the wife of William S. Burroughs, who was killed by him in a shooting-incident that resulted in Burroughs' conviction in Mexico of homicide, but with sentence suspended.

Women of the Beat Generation However, a number of female beats have persevered, notably Joyce Johnson, author of Minor Characters; Carolyn Cassady, author of Off the Road; Hettie Jones, author of How I Became Hettie Jones; Joanne Kyger, author of As Ever; Going On; Just Space; Harriet Sohmers Zwerling, author of Notes of a Nude Model & Other Pieces; and the aforementioned Diane DiPrima, author of This Kind of Bird Flies Backward, Memoirs of a Beatnik, Loba, and many others. Later, other women writers emerged who were strongly influenced by the beats, such as Janine Pommy Vega, published by City Lights in the 1960s, Patti Smith in the early 1970s, and performance poet Hedwig Gorski in the early 1980s.

Drug usage The original members of the Beat Generation group in Allen Ginsberg's phrase, "the libertine circle" used a number of different drugs. In addition to the alcohol common in American life, they were also interested in marijuana, benzedrine and, in some cases, opiates such as morphine. As time went on, many of them began using psychedelic drugs, such as peyote, yage, also known as Ayahuasca, and LSD. Much of this usage can fairly be termed "experimental," in that they were generally unfamiliar with the effects of these drugs, and there were intellectual aspects to their interest in them as well as a simple pursuit of hedonistic intoxication.

Drug usage Benzedrine at that time was available in the form of plastic inhalers, containing a piece of folded paper soaked in the drug. They would typically crack open the inhalers and drop the paper in coffee, or just wad it up and swallow it whole. Opiates could be obtained in the form of morphine "syrettes": a squeeze tube with a hypodermic needle tip. As the Beat phenomenon spread usage of some of these drugs also became more widespread. According to stereotype, the "hippies" commonly used the psychedelic drugs marijuana, LSD, though the use of other drugs such as amphetamines was also widespread. The actual results of this "experimentation" can be difficult to determine. Claims that some of these drugs can enhance creativity, insight or productivity were quite common, as is the belief that the drugs in use were a key influence on the social events of the time.

Collaboration Collaboration and mutual inspiration were an important part of the Beat Generation's literary process. Allen Ginsberg was a promoter of the works of a number of the other members of the Beat Generation. He considered himself a pro bono literary agent for all of his friends and for those with similar ideas. For example, he was instrumental in getting William S. Burroughs's first book, Junkie, published. Ginsberg had encouraged Burroughs to write in the first place. He did extensive editing on Naked Lunch, with some help from Kerouac and others. Burroughs and Ginsberg also collaborated on the book The Yage Letters. Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and Corso collaborated early on a parody of hardboiled detective fiction called And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Gregory Corso, Brion Gysin and William Burroughs collaborated in a book of cut-up poems "Minutes to Go" while living in Paris.

Collaboration William Burrough's "Naked Lunch" was edited by Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin and Gregory Corso, while they lived in Paris Hotel in 1956. Early in 1956 Jack Kerouac, in Tangiers, had assisted Burroughs in putting his prose "fragments" into novel form. Jack Kerouac incorporates many important Beat figures as characters in his novels. Two of his most important novels, On the Road and The Dharma Bums, feature characters based on Neal Cassady and Gary Snyder, respectively, as their chief protagonists.

Collaboration The Beats often provided titles for one another's work. The naming of two important works is the subject of Beat legend. Ginsberg gives Kerouac credit for the name "Howl", even though the original manuscript Ginsberg sent to Kerouac had already been given the title "Howl for Carl Solomon." It's uncertain why Ginsberg would give Kerouac credit, but it's not surprising, considering the nature of their relationship. Kerouac also provided Burroughs with the title Naked Lunch, and, according to legend, when Ginsberg asked what it meant, Kerouac said he didn't know but they'd figure it out. Ginsberg gives some suggestions in a later poem: "On Burroughs' Work." He says, "A naked lunch is natural to us,/we eat reality sandwiches". Ginsberg also supposedly coined the term "the subterraneans, an early attempt at a name for the Beat Generation, which became the title of an early Kerouac novel that was later made into a movie. Ginsberg suggested "Gasoline" to Corso, as the title for his second volume of poetry.

Collaboration Members of the Beat Generation provided subject-matter for much of Allen Ginsberg's poetry. Neal Cassady in particular was a favorite subject of Ginsberg. Ginsberg dedicates his most famous poem, Howl, to Carl Solomon; Cassady and Solomon are specifically referenced throughout the poem. Other Beat Generation figures referenced in Howl include: Kerouac, Burroughs, Herbert Huncke, Tuli Kupferberg, and many more. He dedicated his first collection of poems, Howl and Other Poems, to Kerouac, Burroughs, Cassady, and originally Lucien Carr, though his name was taken off later at Carr's request. The dedication included all of their accomplishments including then unpublished On the Road, Naked Lunch, and Cassady's The First Third. Carr requested his name be taken off because he didn't want the attention. He dedicated many of his other poetry collections and some individual to poems to other Beat figures, including: Huncke, Cassady, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Frank O'Hara. Many of them were also subjects of specific poems within these collections.

Collaboration Kerouac used a "roman clef" style, in which he used thinly disguised Beat characters and described their encounters. Allen Ginsberg appears in five novels as Irwin Garden, and under other names in four more books. William Burroughs is Bull or Will Hubbard, or Old Bull in four books. Corso is Raphael Urso in two books. Corso's letters indicate that Kerouac (as Leo Percepied) originally wrote the ending of The Subterraneans with Percepied killing Yuri Gilgoric (Corso) for sleeping with his African American girlfriend Mardou. Corso warned Kerouac that he would go "down in history as a murderer", and Kerouac rewrote the ending to spare Gilgoric's life by not hitting him with a raised cafe table.

Collaboration Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Cassady collaborated on a poem called "Pull My Daisy." A section from "Pull My Daisy" was one of the first poems Ginsberg published. When Kerouac and Ginsberg later collaborated on a film with photographer Robert Frank based on a script by Kerouac for a play called The Beat Generation, they found that the title had already been copyrighted. They called the film Pull My Daisy instead. The actors included Ginsberg, Orlovsky, Corso, and Larry Rivers, a painter associated with the New York School, and Kerouac did the narration. Gary Snyder dedicated several poems to Lew Welch and has mentioned other Beat figures, such as Kerouac and Philip Whalen, in his poetry. Frank O'Hara in his conversational poems often talks about eating lunch with "LeRoi" and often alludes to other Beat writers, such as Ginsberg and John Wieners. LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka occasionally refers to other Beats in his writing. For a time in New York, Baraka and Diane DiPrima edited a magazine called Yugen, which published many of the Beat writers.

Significant precursors Before Jack Kerouac embraced "spontaneous prose", there were other artists pursuing self-expression by abandoning control, notably the improvisational elements in jazz music. The bop form of jazz championed by Charlie Parker and others was one of the biggest influences on many of the Beats; in fact, the horn-rimmed glasses, goatee, and beret sported by the stereotypical beatnik was derived from the fashion of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. The "cut-up" method most famously employed by William S. Burroughs may have its origins many years earlier in the poetry of Dadaist/Surrealist Tristan Tzara who recommended putting cut up words in a bag and pulling them out randomly to create a poem. "Minutes to Go," a collaboration of Corso, Gysin and Burroughs, was constructed by clipping phrases from newspapers, mixing them in a bowl, picking them out at random, and pasting them in a poet form, pushed the form to Tzara's ad absurdum.

Significant precursors Dadaism and Surrealism had a direct impact on many of the Beats: Dadaism with its attack on the elitism of high culture and its celebration of spontaneity; Surrealism with its transformation of the Dadaist rebellion into positive social intentions and its focus on revelations from the subconscious. Both movements, in a sense, developed as a reaction to WWI, just as the Beat Generation was reacting to the environment of postWWII America. Carl Solomon introduced the work of Surrealist Antonin Artaud to Ginsberg. Artaud had a strong influence on many of the other Beats. The poetry of Andre Breton was also a direct influence. Since Surrealism was still in many ways a vital movement in the 1950s, the Beats had interactions with many Surrealists and former Dadaists. Beat associates such as Rexroth, Ferlinghetti, and Ron Padgett were responsible for translating a lot of the poetry from French and introducing it to English-speaking audiences.

Significant precursors Several Beat associates, such as Ted Joans, were actual members of the Surrealist group; another example is Philip Lamantia who was close with Breton and was responsible for introducing a lot of Surrealist poetry to the other Beats. The poetry of Gregory Corso and Bob Kaufman show the clearest influence of Surrealist poetry, though this influence can also be seen in more subtle ways in other poetry, Ginsberg's in particular. When in France the Beats met many Surrealists and former Dadaists. As the legend goes, when they met Marcel Duchamp, Ginsberg kissed his shoe and Corso cut off his tie. Many other French writers still active in the 1950s had a tremendous impact on the writing of the Beat Generation, writers such as LouisFerdinand Celine and Jean Genet. Older French writers rank high on the list of shared Beat influences: Apollinaire, for example. Beats also repeatedly invoke the spirit of Symbolists such as Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire.

Significant precursors Specific Romantic writers had a heavy influence on Beats: Gregory Corso, for example, worshiped Percy Shelley as a hero and was buried at the foot of Shelley's Grave in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Ginsberg mentions Shelley's Adonais at the beginning of Kaddish, and he cites it as a major influence on the composition of one of his most important poems. Michael McClure compared Ginsberg's Howl to Shelley's breakthrough poem Queen Mab. Ginsberg's most important Romantic influence was Blake, who was the subject of Ginsberg's self-defining auditory hallucination/revelation in 1948, and Ginsberg subsequently spent much of his life studying Blake. Blake was also a major influence on Michael McClure. The first conversation between McClure and Ginsberg was about Blake. John Keats was also an influence on many of the Beats.

Significant precursors Of arguably equal importance to the British Romantics was what is often termed American Romanticism. Whether or not this term is accurate, many writers under this umbrella were important to the Beats: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville and especially Walt Whitman. Edgar Allan Poe is occasionally cited as an influence, as in the line from Howl "who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kaballah..." And, though the comparison might not seem obvious, Ginsberg even claimed Emily Dickinson was an influence on Beat poetry. The novel You Can't Win by Jack Black had a strong influence on Burroughs, as did the short stories of British author Denton Welch.

Significant precursors Though in ways the Beats were reacting against the tendency toward objective distancing and the focus on craft brought on by literary Modernism, many modernist writers were major influences on the Beats: Marcel Proust, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams and H.D.Pound was specifically important to poets such as Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley. Pound was instrumental in introducing ideas of haiku and other Japanese and Chinese literary forms into Western literature. The Beats further adapted these ideas in their own work. William Carlos Williams was an influence on most of the Beats with his encouragement to speak with an American voice instead of imitating the European poetic voice and European forms. He specifically influenced Snyder, Whalen, and Welch when he came to lecture at Reed College. More importantly he personally mentored many important Beat figures: Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, among others.

Significant precursors He published several of Ginsberg's letters to him in his epic poem Paterson and wrote an introduction to two of Ginsberg's books. And many of the Beats (Ginsberg specifically) helped promote Williams' poetry and his play Many Loves. Ferlinghetti's City Lights even published a volume of his poetry. Williams is occasionally classified as both an Imagist and an Objectivist. Kenneth Rexroth was also considered a member of the Objectivists. H.D.(Hilda Doolittle), one of the key Imagists, was another important influence on the Beats. Robert Duncan wrote a book-length study of her work. Gertrude Stein, another important modernist and a major influence on many of the Beats, was the subject of a book-length study by Lew Welch. Marcel Proust, specifically in his Remembrance of Things Past, had an influence on Kerouac's Duluoz Legend concept: a single epic/personal story in multiple volumes. Other important Kerouac influences include: Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe.

Historical context The postwar era was a time where the dominant culture was desperate for a reassuring planned order; but there was a strong intellectual undercurrent calling for spontaneity, an end to psychological repression; a romantic desire for a more chaotic, Dionysian existence. The Beats were a manifestation of this undercurrent and over time, a primary focus for those energies, but they were not the only one. Close analogies to the writings of the Beats can be found in the action paintings of Jackson Pollock and the work of other Abstract Expressionists such as Willem DeKooningm and Franz Kline. Many members of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism were friends with many members of the Beat Generation; they were so closely tied with parallel movements such as the New York School of poetry and the Black Mountain school.

Historical context Black Mountain was associated with many other artists in the post-war period who embraced a similar disdain for refined control, often with the opposite intent of suppressing the ego, and avoiding self-expression; notably, the works of the composer/writer John Cage and the paintings and "assemblages" of Robert Rauschenberg. The "cut-up" technique that Brion Gysin developed and that William Burroughs adopted after publishing Naked Lunch bears a strong resemblance to Cage's "chance operations" approach. Robert Lowell, who is credited with founding confessional poetry, was reportedly inspired to become more personal and emotionally vulnerable in his poetry by interactions he had with Beats in San Francisco. This is significant because Lowell was close friends with New Critics such as Allen Tate; Lowell's transition away from the traditional forms championed by the New Critics toward the non-traditional poetry of the Beats framed a significant debate in the poetry world during the Beat Generation.

Open-Form vs. Closed-Form Poetry One way of understanding why the Beat Generation was considered radical, as well as measuring its impact on later writers, is to compare the literary establishment of the 1950s, especially as it involved poetry, with that of the 1960s to see how it had changed. Poetry in the 1950s was under the heavy influence of T. S. Eliot's often misinterpreted idea of poetry being an escape from self and the Modernist focus on objectivity. Similar to this, and perhaps an even more pervasive influence, were the ideas of the New Critics, including their conception of a poem as a perfectible object. In particular, the poetry of John Crowe Ransom and Robert Penn Warren was highly influential at this time. The focus of these poets on the formal aspects of poetry and their celebration of the short, ironic lyric led to a rise in formalist poetry and a preference for the short lyric. When the Beat poets came to prominence during this time, they were decried as sloppy libertines, and the Beat movement was characterized as at best only a passing fad which had been largely fueled by media-attention.

Open-Form vs. Closed-Form Poetry This antagonism between literary camps was framed by two rival anthologies. Three champions of formalist poetry, Louis Simpson, Donald Hall, and Robert Pack, were putting together an anthology of young poets called New Poets of England and America. Allen Ginsberg - who was a relentless promoter of the work of his friends and the work of those he admired - believing at the time that the Beat poets would be accepted by the literary establishment, brought Simpson, his old Columbia classmate, a packet of poetry including works by Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Robert Duncan, Ed Dorn, Robert Creeley, Philip Lamantia, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, and Charles Olsen in hopes that these poets would be included in this new anthology. Simpson rejected every one of them. The introduction for the anthology was written by formalist hero Robert Frost. The anthology included poetry by Robert Bly, Donald Justice, James Merrill, W. S. Merwin, Howard Nemerov, Adrienne Rich, Richard Wilbur, and James Wright and many others. There is not a strict demarcation here between conservative and avant-garde poetry.

Open-Form vs. Closed-Form Poetry The anthology also included a number of English poets who were associated with a movement that, chronologically at least, ran parallel with the Beat Generation, the "Angry Young Men". These included poets such as Kingsley Amis, Philip Larkin, and Thom Gunn. However, the anthology did set a trend for who would become poets acceptable to academia and the literary establishment. For example, Robert Lowell and W. D. Snodgrass would be seminal in the creation of what later became known as confessional poetry, which helped finally overturn the strict focus on objectivity.

Open-Form vs. Closed-Form Poetry Donald Allen of Grove Press accepted many of the manuscripts Ginsberg gave him for his rival anthology The New American Poetry 1945-1960. Poets in that anthology included John Ashbery, Paul Blackburn, Ray Bremser, Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn, Kirby Doyle, Robert Duncan, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, Jack Kerouac, Kenneth Koch, Philip Lamantia, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, Frank O'Hara, Charles Olson, Joel Oppenheimer, Peter Orlovsky, James Schuyler, Gary Snyder, Jack Spicer, Lew Welch, Philip Whalen, John Wieners, and Jonathan Williams. Don Allen framed the debate as "Open Form vs. "Closed Form". Though seeing it as a rivalry is overly simplistic, the development of U.S. poetry in the later half of the twentieth century is framed in these two anthologies.

Open-Form vs. Closed-Form Poetry Arguably, these poets have had equal impact on literature, and it can be said that Beat literature has changed the establishment so that academia is now more open to more radical forms of literature. For example, of the poets listed in this section, ten from New Poets of England and America and nine from The New American Poetry have been included in the Norton Anthology of American Literature. But Jack Kerouac, despite his impact on American culture and his status as an American icon, has only just been included in the 7th Edition of the Norton. Also, three poets from New Poets of England and America have served as Poets Laureate of the U.S. No Beat poet has ever served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

The "Beatnik" era The term "Beatnik" was coined by Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle on 2 April 1958, likely as a play on the name of the recent Russian satellite Sputnik. Caen's coining of this term appeared to suggest that beatniks were: (1) "far out of the mainstream of society" and (2) "possibly pro-Communist". His column reads as follows: "...Look magazine, preparing a picture spread on S.F.'s Beat Generation, hosted a party in a No. Beach house for 50 Beatniks, and by the time word got around the sour grapevine, over 250 bearded cats and kits were on hand, slopping up Mike Cowles's free booze. They're only Beat, y'know, when it comes to work...". Caen's new term stuck and became the popular label associated with a new stereotype of men with goatees and berets playing bongos while free-spirited women wearing black leotards dance.

The "Beatnik" era An early example of playing up to the "beatnik stereotype" occurred in Vesuvio's (a bar in North Beach) which employed the artist Wally Hedrick to sit in the window dressed in full beard, turtleneck, and sandals and create improvisational drawings and paintings; by 1958 tourists to San Francisco could take bus tours to view the North Beach Beat scene. A variety of other small businesses also sprang up exploiting (and/or satirizing) the new craze. In 1959, Fred McDarrah started a "Rent-a-Beatnik" service in New York, taking out ads in The Village Voice and sending Ted Joans and friends out on calls to read poetry. The image of the beatnik appeared in many cartoons, movies, and TV shows of the time, perhaps the most famous being Bob Denver's character Maynard G. Krebs in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963).

The "Beatnik" era While some of the original Beats embraced the beatniks, or at least found the parodies humorous, Ginsberg, for example, appreciated the parody in Pogo, others criticized the beatniks as inauthentic posers Kerouac feared that the spiritual aspect of his message had been lost and that many were using the Beat Generation as an excuse to be senselessly wild. Bruce Conner also stated: I dont know any artist that would call himself a beat artist... If somebody did, youd consider him a fake, a fraud running a scam.

The "Beatnik" era But for many young people, the popular image of the beatnik was their first contact with the subject. As Glenn O'Brien put it, "Maynard was sloppy, lazy, and did not respond to the mainstream of varsity culture. Maynard was post-romantic, a dreaming realist. I didn't know what a bohemian was, but I knew one when I saw one. As a preteen, I sensed that a beatnik was what I wanted to be. Maynard G. Krebs was a satire on beatniks, but that didn't matter because beatness shone through." Thousands of young people on college campuses and high schools came to regard themselves as beats or beatniks in the late 1950s and very early 1960s and many of them were in sympathy with the popular stereotype

"Hippie" era Some time during the 1960s, the rapidly expanding Beat culture underwent a transformation: the Beat Generation gave way to The Sixties Counterculture, which was accompanied by a shift in public terminology from "beatnik" to "hippie. This was in many respects a gradual transition. Many of the original Beats remained active participants, notably Allen Ginsberg, who became a fixture of the anti-war movement - though equally notably, Kerouac did not remain active on the scene: he broke with Ginsberg and criticized the 60s protest movements as "new excuses for spitefulness." According to Ed Sanders the change in the public label from beatnik to hippie happened after the 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. There were certainly some stylistic differences between beatniks and hippies - somber colors, dark shades, and goatees gave way to colorful psychedelic clothing and long hair. The beats were known for "playing it cool.

Connections Between Beats and "Hippies The Beats in general were a large influence on members of the new "counterculture," for example, in the case of Bob Dylan who became a close friend of Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg as early as 1960 became close friends with 60's icon Timothy Leary and helped him in distributing LSD to influential people in order to demystify drug paranoia. In 1963 Ginsberg lived in San Francisco with Neal Cassady and Charles Plymell at 1403 Gough St. Shortly after that Ginsberg connected with Ken Kesey's group who was doing LSD testing at Stanford, and Plymell, which publishing the first issue of R.Crumb's Zap Comix on his printing press a few years later then moved to Ginsberg's commune in Cherry Valley, NY in the early 1970s.

Connections Between Beats and "Hippies Cassady was the bus driver for an important early Hippie group, Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, which included several members of the Grateful Dead. A sign of Kerouac's break with this new direction in counterculture occurred when the Merry Pranksters, with Cassady's insistence, attempted to recruit Kerouac. Kerouac angrily rejected their invitation and accused them of attempting to destroy the American culture he celebrated. In addition to the "Human Be-In", Ginsberg was also present at another important event in Hippie culture: the protest at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and was friends with Abbie Hoffman and other members of the "Chicago Seven."

Influences on Western Culture While many authors claim to be directly influenced by the beats, the Beat Generation phenomenon itself has had a huge influence on Western Culture more broadly. In many ways, the Beats can be taken as the first subculture, here meaning a cultural subdivision on lifestyle/political grounds, rather than on any obvious difference in ethnic or religious backgrounds. During the very conformist post - World War II era they were one of the forces engaged in a questioning of traditional values which produced a break with the mainstream culture that to this day people react to or against. The Beats produced a great deal of interest in lifestyle experimentation; and they had a large intellectual effect in encouraging the questioning of authority; and many of them were very active in popularizing interest in Zen Buddhism in the West.

Influences on Western Culture In Allen Ginsberg's A Definition of the Beat Generation: he characterized some of the essential effects of Beat Generation artistic movement as including spiritual liberation, sexual "revolution" or "liberation; liberation of the word from censorship, and demystification and/or decriminalization of cannabis and other drugs. Ginsberg claimed that the Beat Generation began to view rock and roll as a high art form, as evidenced by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and other popular musicians influenced in the later fifties and sixties by Beat generation poets' and writers' works. It also included the spread of ecological consciousness, emphasized early on by Gary Snyder and Michael McClure, the notion of a "Fresh Planet" and opposition to the military-industrial machine civilization, as emphasized in writings of Burroughs, Huncke, Ginsberg, and Kerouac. There was increasing respect for land and indigenous peoples and creatures, as proclaimed by Kerouac in his slogan from On the Road: "The Earth is an Indian thing." As well, Beats paid more attention to what Kerouac called a "second religiousness" developing within an advanced civilization, and there was a return to an appreciation of idiosyncrasy as opposed to state regimentation.

Literary legacy Many novelists who emerged in the 1960s and 70s, many labeled postmodernists, were closely connected with older Beats and considered latter day Beats themselves, most notably Ken Kesey. Other postmodern novelists, Thomas Pynchon and Tom Robbins for example, considered the Beats to be major influences though they had no direct connection. William S. Burroughs is considered by some a forefather of postmodern literature; he inspired many later postmodernists and novelists in the cyberpunk genre. Inspired by the Beat Generation's focus on free speech and egalitarianism, Amiri Baraka went on to found the Black Arts movement which focused more specifically on issues in the African American community. Other notable writers associated with this movement include Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, and Nikki Giovanni. Since there was such a heavy focus on live performance among the Beats, many Slam poets have been influenced by the Beats. Saul Williams, for example, cites Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, and Bob Kaufman as major influences.

Rock and roll connections The Beats had a large influence on rock and roll including major figures such as the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison. The image of the rebellious rock star is in many ways analogous to the Beat images such as Dean Moriarty in On the Road. The Beatles spelled their name with an "a" because John Lennon was a fan of Kerouac. Ginsberg later met and became friends with members of the Beatles. Paul McCartney played guitar on Ginsberg's album Ballad of the Skeletons. Ginsberg was close friends with Bob Dylan and toured with him on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975. Dylan cites Ginsberg and Kerouac as major influences.

Rock and roll connections Jim Morrison cites Kerouac as one of his biggest influences. He also studied poetry briefly with Jack Hirschman. Michael McClure was also friends with members of The Doors, at one point touring with keyboardist Ray Manzarek. Ginsberg was friends with, and Cassady was a member of, Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, a group that also included members of the Grateful Dead. In the 1970s, Burroughs was friends with Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and Patti Smith. Singersongwriter Tom Waits, a Beat fan, wrote "Jack and Neal" about Kerouac and Cassady, and recorded "On the Road, a song written by Kerouac after finishing the novel, with Primus. He also co-wrote The Black Rider with Burroughs.

Rock and roll connections Ginsberg has worked with The Clash. Burroughs worked with Sonic Youth, R.E.M., Kurt Cobain, and Ministry, amongst others. Bono of U2 cites Burroughs as a major influence, and Burroughs appeared briefly in a U2 video. Experimental musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson featured Burroughs on her 1984 album Mister Heartbreak and in her 1986 concert film, Home of the Brave. The British progressive rock band Soft Machine is named after Burroughs' The Soft Machine. The Beats are referenced in songs by artists such as: The Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, 10,000 Maniacs, They Might Be Giants, Van Morrison, The Clean, Ani Difranco, Bad Religion, and King Crimson.

The original "Beat Generation" writers Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) William S. Burroughs (1914 1997) Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) met in New York. Later, the central figures ended up together in San Francisco in the mid-1950s where they met and became friends with figures associated with the San Francisco Renaissance. During the 1960s, the rapidly expanding Beat culture underwent a transformation: the Beat Generation gave way to The Sixties Counterculture, which was accompanied by a shift in public terminology from "beatnik" to "hippie". Other Writers

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997)

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Selected Biographic Notes

Irwin Allen Ginsberg was born on 3 June 1926 in Newark, New Jersey. At age 15, writes letter to New York Times about political issues such as WWII and the plight of the workers. About those he saw as guilty parties he writes: "One can gather infinite consolation by speculation as to what will happen to those Congressmen when they go to Hell." Prays to save the Working Class of America if he is admitted to Columbia University. He is, and attends, with the assistance of a stipend from the Y.M.H.A., intending to study pre-Law. In December of 1943, meets Lucien Carr at Columbia University. Carr introduces him to David Kammerer, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Ginsberg begins experimenting with drugs, primarily Benzedrine and marijuana, hanging out in Times Square with Burroughs and Kerouac, attempting to realize the lived poetry of a "New Vision". Early in 1947, meets Neal Cassady, begins intense intellectual and, somewhat unreciprocated, physical relationship with him. They travel to Texas to visit Burroughs and Herbert Huncke.

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Selected Biographic Notes

In the summer of 1948, Ginsberg has a profound vision while reading Blake, claims to have found God. He makes the bizarre attempt to "go straight," enters into psychoanalysis, dates a woman, finds a job as a marketing researcher. Ginsberg is arrested in April of 1949 while riding in a car stolen by some of Huncke's friends. Allen pleads insanity, ends up going to the Columbia Psychiatric Institute for eight months. It is there that he meets Carl Soloman, to whom he later dedicates Howl. Is graduated from Columbia in 1949 with a BA. August 1951, drives with Lucien Carr to Mexico City to visit the Burroughs'. Impressed with the richness of the culture, his perspective on the US shifts. Moves to San Francisco, takes an apartment in North Beach, meets Kenneth Rexroth, who impresses Ginsberg with his balance of social activism and poetry. He is also introduced to Robert Duncan who encourages Ginsberg to break away from the influence of Williams, supports his enthusiasm with Kerouac's "spontaneous poetics".

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Selected Biographic Notes

On the 13th of October 1955, at the Six Gallery, Ginsberg delivers a mythic reading of "Howl". Kerouac MCs, punctuates reading with slaps on a jug of wine and shouts of "GO!" Obscenity charges leveled against "Howl", further assuring its success and significance. Lawrence Ferlinghetti publishes Howl and Other Poems in 1956. In December of 1960, Ginsberg meets Timothy Leary, who initiates him into the Harvard Psilocybin Project with nine psilocybin pills. Tries to call Kerouac as God, wants to go out in the street, stark, hysterical and naked to preach peace and love. He is everywhere in the 60's, preaching the psychedelic gospel; traveling to India and Japan; getting kicked out of Cuba and Prague; standing in alley in film of Bob Dylan's 1965 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'; taking a part in the Acid Tests with Ken Kesey; leading the crowd in chanting OM at the Be-in in San Francisco in 1967 with Gary Snyder and Michael McClure; Protesting the war at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968; testifying at the trial of the Chicago Seven; building an impressive FBI file.

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Selected Biographic Notes

Meets Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1970, whom he accepts as his guru. With Anne Waldman helps to found the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, at Trungpa's Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The Fall of America wins the National Book Award in 1972. Tours with Bob Dylan In the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1977. Tours and reads tirelessly through the 80's, ever deepening his commitment to Buddhism, keeping the Beat flame alive. In 1993, he is awarded the medal of Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Minister of Culture Dies of liver cancer on April 5th, 1997 in the East Village, New York City. Ginsberg reportedly composed a handful of short poems the day before his death, including one titled "On Fame and Death." In this poem, which ran in the New Yorkerthe week following his demise, he imagines the big crowds at his funeral and hopes that one of them would testify: "He gave great head."

Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956)

"Howl," published in 1956, expressed the anger of a generation. It also shocked, provoked, and thrilled readers -- then and now. "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, ... So begins "Howl," one of the most controversial and important poems of the post-World War II generation. Allen Ginsberg's semiautobiographical three-part poem cries against the wrongs he sees in 1950s America: apathy, poverty, commercialism, and corporate greed. He uses "in-your-face" and graphic language as well as a string of dependent clauses to express his urgency. Ginsberg takes the reader to the seamy side of New York and other US cities, to the Bowery and the Bronx, to the rusty railroad yards of New Jersey. He uses references to his friends and familiar locales from his own life to personalize his lament.

Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956)

Carl Solomon "Howl" is dedicated to Carl Solomon, a Dadaist and prose poet whom Ginsberg met at Rockland Mental Hospital while visiting his mother there in the early 1950s. The third section of "Howl" is a show of support for his friend, still in Rockland suffering from depression and contemplating suicide. Ginsberg equates Solomon's battle with that of the average man trying to eke out a living in today's commercial society.

Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956)

Obscenity Trial "Howl" includes many words that aren't permitted to be said on the radio. It was this language combined with several sexual references that caused "Howl's" publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, to be charged with obscenity in 1956. The San Francisco judge ultimately ruled in Ferlinghetti's -- and the book's -- favor.

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Poetry

Howl and Other Poems, 1956 Siesta in Xbalba and Return to the States, 1956 Kaddish and Other Poems, 1958-1960, 1961 Empty Mirror: Early Poems, 1961 A Strange New Cottage in Berkeley, 1963 Reality Sandwiches: 1953-1960, 1963 The Change, 1963 Kral Majales (King of May), 1965 Wichita Vortex Sutra, 1966 TV Baby Poems, 1967 Airplane Dreams: Compositions From Journals, 1968 Scrap Leaves, Hasty Scribbles, 1968 Wales - A Visitation, July 29, 1967, 1968 The Heart is a Clock, 1968 Message II, 1968 Planet News, 1968 For the Soul of the Planet is Wakening..., 1970 The Moments Return: A Poem, 1970 New Year Blues, 1972 Open Head, 1972 Bixby Canyon Ocean Path Word Breeze, 1972 Iron Horse, 1972

The Fall of America: Poems of These States, 1965-1971, 1973 The Gates of Wrath: Rhymed Poems 19481952, 1973 Sad Dust Glories: Poems during Work Summer in Woods, 1974 First Blues: Rags, Ballads and Harmonium Songs, 1971-1974, 1975 Mind Breaths: Poems, 1972-1977, 1978 Poems All Over the Place: Mostly Seventies, 1978 Mostly Sitting Haiku, 1978 Careless Love: Two Rhymes, 1978 Plutonian Ode and Other Poems, 1977-1980, 1982 Many Loves, 1984 Collected Poems, 1947-1980, 1984 Old Love Story, 1986 White Shroud: Poems, 1980-1985, 1986 Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems, 1986-1992, 1994

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Prose

Notes after an Evening with William Carlos Williams, 1970 Declaration of Independence for Dr. Timothy Leary, 1971 The Fall of America Wins a Prize, 1974 The Visions of the Great Rememberer, 1974 Chicago Trial Testimony, 1975 The Dream of Tibet, 1976 Your Reason and Blake's System, 1989

Allen Ginsberg (1926 1997) Prose

The Yage Letters (with William Burroughs), 1963 To Eberhart from Ginsberg: A Letter about Howl, 1976 As Ever: The Collected Correspondence of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, 1977 Straight Hearts' Delight: Love Poems and Selected Letters with Peter Orlovsky (edited by Winston Leyland), 1980

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Selected Biographic Notes

William Seward Burroughs II was born 5 February 1914, in St. Louis, Missouri, into a world of relative wealth and comfort from the profits of the Burroughs Adding Machine Corporation. His grandfather, after whom he was named, was the inventor of the adding machine. At 8 years of age, uses his first gun, writes first story, "The Autobiography of a Wolf." Refuses editorial advice of parents to change autobiography to biography. When Burroughs is 13, he discovers the autobiography of Jack Black, You Can't Win, and becomes enamored of the outlaw, underground lifestyle. Black introduces him to the idea of the being a member of the Johnson Family. First published in the John Burroughs Review in 1929. A short essay entitled "Personal Magnetism". He considers it an early attempt at debunking control systems. Sent to Los Alamos Boys School in New Mexico. Later claims the only thing he learned there was a hatred of horses. He is graduated from Harvard in 1936.

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Selected Biographic Notes In the Summer of 1942, moves to Chicago, takes job with A. J. Cohen, Exterminators. "I go into an apartment and I know where all the roaches are," he later claims. Moves to New York the next year. Befriends Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and David Kammerer around this time. On 13 August 1944, Lucien Carr kills David Kammerer in self defense. Kerouac and Burroughs are arrested as material witnesses because they did not initially report the murder. Later, they collaborate on a novel based on the events, And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks. It was rejected by several publishers at the time and has never been published. Burroughs meets Joan Vollmer. Along with Ginsberg and Kerouac, they begin experimenting with drugs and extreme behaviors. Meets Herbert Huncke around this time. Kerouac introduces Joan to Benzedrine inhalers, to which she soon becomes addicted. Sometime in 1946, Burroughs injects himself with a morphine Syrette. Discovers junk ecstasy, begins addiction. In the midst of junk despair, Burroughs has a vision of a cocktail waitress bringing him a skull on a tray. "I don't want your fucking skull," he says. "Take it back!" Moves in with Joan, they become lovers. Joan tells him that he "makes love like a pimp."

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Selected Biographic Notes In April of 1946, Burroughs is arrested for obtaining narcotics through fraud. Joan is committed to Bellevue for acute amphetamine psychosis. Burroughs attempts to rescue her from New York. William Burroughs III conceived. Convinces her to move to East Texas with him. Huncke eventually moves in with them. All three live in a small house near New Waverly, growing marijuana and laying low. On 21 July 1947, William Burroughs III is born. Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady visit in August of 1947. The Burroughs' move to New Orleans in 1948. Kerouac and Cassady visit, as immortalized in On the Road. Burroughs is arrested in New Orleans for possession of drugs, elects not to stand trial, moves family to Mexico City in 1949. On Thursday the 6th of September, 1951, at a desultory party, Burroughs suggests that he and Joan do their William Tell act. Joan balances a highball glass on her head, turns her head to one side, saying, "I can't watch this- you know I can't stand the sight of blood." Burroughs shoots and hits Joan in the side of the head, killing her. Later he states: "I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan's death."

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Selected Biographic Notes Burroughs travels to Columbia in 1953 to find the entheogenic vine Yage, meets Richard Evans Schultes, who councils him about the plant. Writes to Ginsberg about his experiences, which are later published as The Yage Letters. In 1954, Burroughs moves to Tangiers, Morocco. Introduced to Paul Bowles. Meets Brion Gysin, who becomes a pivotal catalyst for Burroughs. Begins initial forays into unleashing his word hoard and deeper addictions to junk. Kerouac, Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky visit him in 1956. Kerouac helps Burroughs to organize the "routines" that would later become The Naked Lunch, the title from a suggestion of Kerouac's years before. Early in 1958, sick of Tangiers, he leaves to stay with Ginsberg in Paris. Meets Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press, who decides to publish The Naked Lunch in 1959. Moves to London in 1960. Back in Tangiers in August of 1961, with Ginsberg and others, meets Timothy Leary who gives them all mushrooms. Burroughs doesn't enjoy the experience, saying: "Urgent warning. I think I'll stay here in shriveling envelopes of larval flesh... One of the nastiest cases ever produced by this department."

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Selected Biographic Notes

Writes prolifically and lives nomadically throughout 60's, returns to New York in 1974. He has not lived in the US for 24 years. Meets James Grauerholz, who becomes Burroughs' life manager, helping him to organize and publish his writings. Burroughs' son, Billy, dies in a ditch after a hard and lonely life on 3 March 1981. Burroughs moves to Lawrence, Kansas with Grauerholz. In May of 1982, Burroughs is inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Died on 2 August 1997 of a heart attack in Lawrence, Kansas. He was 83 years old.

William S. Burrought's Naked Lunch (1959)

Quotes "You know how old people lose all shame about eating, and it makes you puke to watch them? Old junkies are the same about junk. They gibber and squeal at the sight of it. The spit hangs off their chin, and their stomach rumbles and all their guts grind in peristalsis while they cook up, dissolving the body's decent skin, you expect any moment a great blob of protoplasm will flop right out and surround the junk. Really disgust you to see it." (Chapter 1)

William S. Burrought's Naked Lunch (1959)

Significant Topics - Drugs and Homosexual Subcultures The novel presents two key subcultures. One of these is the drug subculture and the other is the homosexual subculture. The two are united early in the novel by the narrator's assumption that he would be punished more harshly for engaging in homosexual activities than he would for selling illegal drugs. Both subcultures are presented, often side by side, as the defining characteristics of a fantasy society in which both acts would be considered commonplace and normal. The drug culture is present throughout the first sections of the novel as the narrator describes the members of the inner circle of drug dealers and the techniques they use to keep themselves supplied with drugs at all times.

William S. Burrought's Naked Lunch (1959)

Characters - William Lee William Lee is the narrator of the story though his character drops out of much of the plot, particularly in the middle of the novel. Instead, Lee's direct experience acts as a defining structure that provides an introduction and conclusion to the events of the novel. Lee is a drug dealer and addict on the run after killing two police officers. He uses his various connections to make his way out of the United States and into Mexico. After that, the reader is left to judge if anything that happens is real of hallucinated. Lee is clearly based on the author, himself, William S. Burroughs, who went on a similar trip around the world in order to avoid arrest in the United States. The characters described reflect the people that Burroughs met

William S. Burrought's Naked Lunch (1959)


Themes One of the most unsettling and controversial aspects of Naked Lunch is Burroughs's insistence that the condition of existence he evokes is not just an easily dismissable, thoroughly exaggerated version of an uncommon life pattern exhibited by beatniks, drug fiends, and other counterculture freaks, but a continuous revelation of some fundamental facts of basic human psychology. The narrator, who disarmingly introduces himself in the introduction as "Old Uncle Bill Burroughs," is now fully recovered (he claims) from an addiction to heroin (among other things), and is prepared to offer the reader a sort of retrospective tour of an addict's life. While the invitation to explore territory normally forbidden to respectable citizens has some of the appeal of the trip through dangerous but exciting outlaw precincts, as Burroughs develops the situation, he gradually makes progressively clear

William S. Burrought's Naked Lunch (1959)

In a convoluted and disturbing string of events, a drug addict flees from the police. His journeys take him across the United States and down into Mexico and beyond. On his travels, he meets up with various members of the underground drug and homosexual cultures. Alongside the twisted narrative runs a counter story about the uses of mind control by governments and psychiatrists to manipulate, destroy, and direct the masses. Told in lurid detail that disturbs and disgusts many readers, the novel presents a glimpse into the emerging counter cultures of the 1950s and gives interesting insights into how these forces effect the ongoing development of modern society.

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Junky (as William Lee), 1953, 1977 The Naked Lunch, 1959, 1990 Minutes to Go (with Brion Gysin, Sinclair Beiles & Gregory Corso), 1960 Exterminator (with Brion Gysin), 1960 The Soft Machine, 1961, 1992 The Ticket That Exploded, 1962, 1987 Dead Fingers Talk, 1963 The Yage Letters, 1963, 1975 The Nova Express, 1964, 1992 Valentine's Day Reading, 1965 Roosevelt After Inauguration, 1965 Time, 1965 APO-33, 1965 So Who Owns Death TV? (with Claude Pelieu & Carl Weissner), 1967 The Dead Star, 1969 The Last Words of Dutch Schultz, 1969, 1975 The Wild Boys, 1971, 1992 The Electronic Revolution (bilingual edition: German/English), 1971, 1996 Brion Gysin Let the Mice In (text by Burroughs), 1973 Exterminator!, 1973, 1979 White Subway, 1973 Mayfair Academy Series More or Less, 1973 Port of Saints, 1973, 1980 The Book of Breathing, 1974 The Job, 1974

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)


Sidetripping (text to photographs by Charles Gatewood), 1975 Snack, 1975 Cobble Stone Gardens, 1976 The Retreat Diaries, 1976 The Third Mind (with Brion Gysin), 1978 Letters to Allen Ginsberg, 1976, 1982 Ali's Smile/ Naked Scientology (bilingual edition: German/English), 1978, 1995 Blade Runner, A Movie, 1979 Dr. Benway, 1979 Ah Pook Is Here, 1979 Streets of Chance, 1981 Early Routines, 1981 Cities of the Red Night, 1981 Sinki's Sauna, 1982 A William Burroughs Reader, 1982 RE/Search 4/5: William S Burroughs, Bryon Gysin & Throbbing Gristle, 1982 The Place of Dead Roads, 1983 Ruski, 1984 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (bilingual edition: German/English), 1984, 1996 The Burroughs File, 1984 The Adding Machine, 1985 Queer, 1985 The Cat Inside (with Brion Gysin), 1986, 1992 The Western Lands, 1987 The Whole Tamale

William S. Burroughs (1914 1997)

Apocalypse (with Keith Haring), 1988 Interzone, 1989, 1990 Tornado Alley, 1989 Letters of William S Burroughs, 1990 Ghost of a Chance, 1991, 1995 Seven Deadly Sins, 1992 Ports of Entry: William S Burroughs & the Arts, 1996 My Education: A Book Of Dreams, 1996 Concrete & Buckshot: William S. Burroughs 1987 - 1996 - Timothy Leary (intro), Benjamin Weissman (ed.) Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader - James Grauerholz, Ira Silverberg (eds.) [1/99] Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs - James Grauerholz (ed.) [Feb. 2000] Burroughs: Letters [2/2000] The Collected Interviews William S. Burroughs [September 2000] Conversations With William S. Burroughs (Literary Conversations series) - Alan Hibbard (ed.) [April 2000]

Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969)

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)


Selected Biographic Notes

Jean-Luis Lebris de Kerouac /Jack Kerouac/ was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to French-Canadian parents, who were natives of Qubec, Canada. Like many others of their generation, the Kerouacs were part of the Quebec emigration to New England to find employment. Kerouac did not start to learn English until the age of six, and at home, he and his family spoke Quebec French. At an early age, he was profoundly affected by the death (from rheumatic fever, age nine) of his elder brother Grard, an event later described in his novel Visions of Gerard. Kerouacs athletic talent led him to become a 100 meter hurdler on his local high school track team, and his skills as a running back in football earned him scholarship offers from Boston College, Notre Dame and Columbia University. He enrolled at Columbia University after spending a year at The Horace Mann School, earning the required grades that were necessary to enroll at Columbia. Unfortunately, Kerouac broke a leg playing football during his freshman season, and he argued constantly with coach Lou Little who kept him benched.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)


Selected Biographic Notes When his football scholarship did not pan out, Kerouac dropped out of Columbia, although he continued to live for a while on New York Citys Upper West Side with his girlfriend, Edie Parker. It was during this time that he met many of the people with whom he was later to journey around the world. This group later came to be known as the pioneers of the so-called Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke and William S. Burroughs. Kerouac joined the United States Merchant Marines in 1942 and in 1943 joined the United States Navy, but was honorably discharged during World War II on psychiatric grounds (he was of indifferent disposition). In between sea voyages, Kerouac stayed in New York with friends from Fordham University in The Bronx. Later, he lived with his parents in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, after they, too, moved to New York. He wrote his first novel, The Town and the City while living there. The Town and the City was published in 1950 under the name John Kerouac, and, though it earned him some respectable reviews, the book sold poorly. Heavily influenced by Kerouacs reading of Thomas Wolfe, it reflected on the generational epic formula and the contrasts of small town life versus the multidimensional, and larger, city.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)


Selected Biographic Notes For the next six years, Kerouac wrote constantly but could not find a publisher. Building upon previous drafts tentatively titled The Beat Generation and Gone on the Road, Kerouac wrote what is now known as On the Road in April, 1951. The book was largely autobiographical, narrated from the point of view of the character Sal Paradise, describing Kerouacs road-trip adventures across the United States and Mexico with Neal Cassady, the model for the character of Dean Moriarty. Part of the Kerouac mythology is that, fueled by Benzedrine and coffee, he completed the first version of the novel during a three week extended session of spontaneous confessional prose. This session produced the now famous scroll of On the Road. In fact, according to his Columbia professor and mentor Mark Van Doren, he had outlined much of the work in his journals over several years. Most publishers rejected it due to its experimental writing style and its supportive tone towards minorities and marginalized social groups of the United States in the 1950s. In 1957, Viking Press purchased the novel, but it demanded major revisions. He chronicled parts of his experiences with Buddhism, as well as some of his adventures with some of the San Francisco-area poets, in his book The Dharma Bums, set in California and published in 1958. The Dharma Bums, which some have called the sequel to On the Road, was written in Orlando, Florida during late 1957 through early 1958. Kerouac also wrote and narrated a Beat movie entitled Pull My Daisy in 1958.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)


Selected Biographic Notes

In July 1957, Kerouac moved to a small house on Clouser Ave. in the College Park section of Orlando, Florida to await the release of On the Road. A few weeks later, the review appeared in the New York Times proclaiming Kerouac the voice of a new generation. Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer. His friendship with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, among others, became a notorious representation of the Beat Generation. His fame ultimately came to be an unmanageable surge that would ultimately be his undoing. Kerouacs novel is often described as the defining work of the post-World War II Beat Generation and Kerouac came to be called the king of the beat generation, a term that he never felt comfortable with, and once observed, Im not a beatnik, Im a Catholic. John Antonellis 1985 documentary Kerouac, the Movie began and ended with footage of Kerouac reading from On the Road and Visions of Cody on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen in 1957. Kerouac appeared intelligent, but shy. Are you nervous? asked Steve Allen. Naw, said Kerouac, sweating and fiddling.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)


Selected Biographic Notes

Kerouac moved to Northport, New York in March 1958, six months after the release of On the Road, to care for his aging mother Gabrielle and to hide from his newfound celebrity. Some time later, he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, one day after being rushed with severe abdominal pain from his St. Petersburg home by ambulance to St. Anthonys Hospital. His death, at the age of 47, resulted from an internal hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis of the liver, the result of a lifetime of heavy drinking. At the time of his death, he was living with his third wife Stella, and his mother Gabrielle. Kerouac is buried in his home town of Lowell and was honored posthumously with a Doctor of Letters degree from his hometowns University of Massachusetts-Lowell on June 2, 2007.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

Nostalgia is part of the appeal of both Jack Kerouac and On the Road today, but it was also part of the books appeal in 1957. For its really not a book about the nineteen-fifties. Its a book about the nineteen-forties. In 1947, when Kerouac began his travels, there were three million miles of intercity roads in the United States and thirty-eight million registered vehicles. By the time that On the Road came out, there was roughly the same amount of highway, but there were thirty million more cars and trucks. And the construction of the federal highway system, which had been planned since 1944, was under way. The interstates changed the phenomenology of driving. There was little romance left in long car rides.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

In reality, the characters in On the Road spent as short a time on the road as they could. They werent interested in exploring rural or small-town America. Speed was essential. The men rarely even had time to chase after the women they ran into, because they were always in a hurry to get to a city. A lot of the book takes place in cities, particularly New York, Denver, and San Francisco, but also Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Mexico City. Even there, the characters were always rushing around. The bits and pieces of America that the book captures are snapshots taken on the run, glimpses from the window of a speeding car. And they are carefully selected to represent a way of life that was coming to an end in the postwar boom, a way of life before televisions and washing machines and fast food, when millions of people lived patched-together existences and men wandered the country, following the seasons in search of work.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

The sadness that soaks through Kerouacs story comes from the certainty that this world of hobos, migrant workers, cowboys and crazy joyriders was dying. But the sadness is not sentimental, because many of the characters in the book who inhabited that world would have been happy to see it go or else were too drunk or forlorn to care. They did not share the literary mans nostalgie de la boue. They were restless, lonely, lost, beat. Yet, the car was the place to be. Why? The obvious answer is that nothing happens in the car. Everyone in On the Road had an irresistible urge to get to Denver or San Francisco or New York, because there would be work or friends or women there, but after they arrived, hopes started to unravel, and it was back into the car again. The characters couldnt settle down except when they were nowhere in particular, between one destination and the next. But they wanted to settle down somewhere in particular.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

Beautiful is a word that some women used to describe Kerouac. Before he became bloated by drink, he was rugged, too; he had been recruited to play football at Columbia and he had a husky baritone. He spoke with a Boston accent and he was excruciatingly self-conscious. That was one of the sources of his perpetual discomfort, but when he was sober it added to his appeal: he was virile and he was shy. In 1959, he appeared on television, on The Steve Allen Show. Steverino was a jazz buff who used to fiddle around on a piano while he interviewed his guests (an unbelievably annoying routine). He liked Kerouac, and Kerouac seemed less than usually guarded with him. After they chatted, a little awkwardly, two men in jackets, Kerouac read the last paragraph of On the Road, while Allen contributed background riffs on the piano.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

There is something risky and exposed about Kerouacs reading, as there is about Kerouacs prose. The Beats were men who wrote about their feelings. On the Road is somewhat sub-canonical, but also also a tour de force. It is usually considered to be more a literary phenomenon than a work of literature. On the other hand, it has had an influence that is equivalent to a work of literature. Kerouac revealed how one could stretch a canvas across an entire continent. He made America a subject for literary fiction; he de-Europeanized the novel for American writers. On the Road might well be considered the first nonfiction novel. Kerouacs book came out eight years before Capotes In Cold Blood. It is certainly one of the major literary sources of The New Journalism of the nineteen-sixties and seventies. On the Road served as a catalyst for the outburst of magazine pieces by writers like Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Hunter Thompson, a surge of avant-garde articles which took America and its weirdness as its great subject.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)


Inception of The New Journalism

There is something risky and exposed about Kerouacs reading, as there is about Kerouacs prose. The Beats were men who wrote about their feelings. On the Road is somewhat sub-canonical, but also also a tour de force. It is usually considered to be more a literary phenomenon than a work of literature. On the other hand, it has had an influence that is equivalent to a work of literature. Kerouac revealed how one could stretch a canvas across an entire continent. He made America a subject for literary fiction; he de-Europeanized the novel for American writers. On the Road might well be considered the first nonfiction novel. Kerouacs book came out eight years before Capotes In Cold Blood. It is certainly one of the major literary sources of The New Journalism of the nineteen-sixties and seventies. On the Road served as a catalyst for the outburst of magazine pieces by writers like Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion and Hunter Thompson, a surge of avant-garde articles which took America and its weirdness as its great subject.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)

Characters - Remi Boncoeur Remi Boncoeur is a friend of Sal's living in San Francisco with his nagging girlfriend, Lee Ann. Sal takes his first trip west, planning to ship out and work on a luxury liner with Remi. Instead, after writing a screenplay, Sal and Remi get a job guarding the temporary barracks of construction workers waiting to go overseas. The relationship between Remi, Lee Ann, and Sal begins to deteriorate when Remi is unable to sell Sal's screenplay. As one last favor, Remi asks Sal and Lee Ann to accompany him out to dinner, a futile attempt to impress his visiting stepfather. Sal gets drunk and runs into his friend Roland Major, who is also drunk, and they embarrass Remi. Sal, feeling terribly guilty, sneaks away from Remi's shack the next morning.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)

Themes Friendship There are entire paragraphs listing the names of Sal Paradise's friends in On the Road. The nature of friendship is an integral theme of the novel. Sal, being a good-natured person, has a diverse collection of friends. Some are artistic types, such as the bizarre poet Carlo Marx. Others, like Old Bull Lee, are wildly eccentric. Surprisingly enough, Sal even has some ordinary, everyday friends, like Chad King. Sal also has many brief yet memorable friendships on the road. Of course, the most important friendship in the novel is between Sal and Dean Moriarty. The powerful bond between Sal and Dean drives the story. Soon after Dean arrives in New York City, Sal becomes addicted to Dean's effervescent personality. Sal recognizes that Dean is manipulating him, but Dean's relentless energy captivates him

Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957)

Historical Context - Post-World War II America The last part of World War II was the birth of the atomic age. The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan to surrender. The United States emerged from the wreckage of the war as the leader of the Western world. Veterans returned to their homes, families, schools, and jobs. The United States was poised to become one of the greatest economic powers in history. However, there was an increasing anxiety caused by the atomic bomb and the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Jack Kerouac
The town and the city, 1950 On the road, 1957 - Matkalla The Dharma bums, 1958 Dharmapummit The Subterraneans, 1958 Maanalaiset The Floating World, 1959 Mexico City Blues, 1959 Maggie Cassidy, 1959 Doctor Sax, 1959 The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, 1960 Lonesome Traveller, 1960 Tristessa, 1960 Pull my Daisy, 1961 Book of Dreams, 1961 Big Sur, 1962 - Tuuliajolla Big Surissa Visions of Gepard, 1963

Desolation Angels, 1965 Satory in Paris, 1966 Some of the Dharma, 1997 Vanity of Duloutz, 1968 PIC, 1971 Scattered Poems, 1971 Visions of Cody, 1972 Heaven, 1977 Orpheus Emerged, 2000 (published in digital format by LiveREADS) Windblown World. The journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954, 2004 (ed. by Douglas Brinkley

Certain poets the core Beats encountered in San Francisco were associated with the San Francisco Renaissance such as Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Lew Welch, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Harold Norse, Kirby Doyle, Michael McClure The poets associated with the Black Mountain College were also associated with the Beat Generation, such as Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan As well, there were the New York School poets such as Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch Surrealist poets Philip Lamantia, Ted Joans Poets who are occasionally called the "second wave" of the Beat Generation such as LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, Diane DiPrima, Anne Waldman Other people associated with the Beats include Bob Kaufman, Tuli Kupferberg, Ed Sanders, Hubert Selby, Jr., John Wieners, Jack Micheline, A. D. Winans, Ray Bremser, Bonnie Bremser/Brenda Frazer, Ed Dorn, Jack Spicer, David Meltzer, Richard Brautigan, Lenore Kandel Many previously underappreciated female writers were part of the Beat scene, such as Joanne Kyger, Kaye McDonough, Harriet Sohmers Zwerling, Janine Pommy Vega, Elise Cowen A few younger writers who were acquaintances of the aforementioned writers are occasionally included in this list such as Bob Dylan, Ken Kesey, Jim Carroll, Ron Padgett

Charles Bukowski has a tenuous place on this list since his association is slight. Several older writers were very closely associated with members of the "Beat Generation", though their reputations were solidified so much earlier that it is difficult to call them part of the same "generation." They include Kenneth Rexroth, the principal figure involved in the San Francisco Renaissance, and Charles Olson, the mentor to the Black Mountain poets and author of the highly influential essay "Projective Verse". Also, so many of these writers either studied personally with William Carlos Williams or looked up to Williams as an idol, that Beat writers are often seen as being the children of Williams.

Jack Kerouac (wrote), Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie (directed) Pull My Daisy (1958) Richard Lerner and Lewis MacAdams (directed) Whatever Happened To Kerouac? (1986) Documentary. Chuck Workman (wrote and directed) The Source (1999) Gary Walkow (wrote and directed) Beat (2000) Allen Ginsberg Live in London (1995)