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The Beat Generation
Transcript of The Beat Generation
-The Beat Generation Allen Ginsberg and his "Howl" The beat generation Howl Sentimental and Fragile Honest and Brave Crazy and Wild The core writers-Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg Influence on western culture Counterculture effects What is the beat generation? WORLD WAR II Baby Boom and Road Trip The Sexual Liberation The history background 1960s-1970s 1946-1964 In American in the 1950s, a new cultural and literary movement staked its claim on the nation’s consciousness. Just as the postwar economic boom was taking hold, students in universities were beginning to question the rampant materialism of their society. The Beat Generation was a product of this questioning. They saw runaway capitalism as destructive to the human spirit and antithetical to social equality. In the world of literature and art, the Beats stood in opposition to the clean, almost antiseptic formalism of the early twentieth century Modernists. They fashioned a literature that was more bold, straightforward, and expressive than anything that had come before. Beatniks The Hippies The Civil Rights Movement Worldwide LGBT movement-Stonewall Uprising In 1982, Ginsberg published a summary of "the essential effects" of the Beat Generation:
1.Spiritual liberation, sexual "revolution" or "liberation," i.e., gay liberation, somewhat catalyzing women's liberation, black liberation.
2.Liberation of the world from censorship.
3.Demystification and/or decriminalization of cannabis and other drugs.
4.The evolution of rhythm and blues into 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.
5.The spread of ecological consciousness
6.Opposition to the military-industrial machine civilization, as emphasized in writings of Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Kerouac.
7.Attention to what Kerouac called a "second religiousness" developing within an advanced civilization.
8.Return to an appreciation of idiosyncrasy as against state regimentation.
9.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." Hippies Blues and Jazz music The “founders” of the Beat Generation met at Columbia University in the early 1940s. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg formed the core of this initial group, and they would remain bulwarks of the Beat sensibility for years to come. The Beat Generation pulled from a variety of source materials to construct their particular vision of literature and culture. Several of the originators claim Romantic poets as major influences on their work. Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake are often cited as especially influential on the development of the Beat aesthetic. Literature legacy: "On The Road" and "Howl". Neal Cassady Neal Cassady was introduced to the group in 1947, and had a number of significant effects. Cassady became something of a muse to Ginsberg; they had a romantic affair, and Ginsberg became Cassady's personal writing-tutor. Kerouac's road-trips with Cassady in the late 1940s became the focus of his second novel, On the Road. Cassady's verbal style is one of the sources of the spontaneous, jazz-inspired rapping that later became associated with "beatniks". Cassady impressed the group with the free-flowing style of his letters, and Kerouac cited them as a key influence on his spontaneous prose style. In1957, there was a obscenity trial against "Howl". "Howl" contains many references to illicit drugs and sexual practices, both heterosexual and homosexual, while the drug use and homosexual acts still considered as crime at that time. Ginsberg was arrested in 1949. The police attempted to pull Ginsberg over while he was driving with Huncke, his car filled with stolen items. Ginsberg crashed the car while trying to flee and escaped on foot, but left incriminating notebooks behind. He was given the option to plead insanity to avoid a jail term, and was committed for 90 days to Bellevue Hospital, where he met Carl Solomon. Carl Solomon was indulged in self-consciously "crazy" behavior, like throwing potato salad at a college lecturer on Dadaism. Solomon was given shock treatments at Bellevue; this became one of the main themes of Ginsberg's "Howl", which was dedicated to Solomon.