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The Beat Generation

AP English

Shannon Mooney

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of The Beat Generation

beat generation (people) - a group of American writers
beat generation (time period) - the culture of the writings that came out of the "beats"

1945 - 1965 Fun Fact: Jack Kerouac, a writer of the Beat Generation, is the one who gave the Beat Generation its name. It represents the opposition they faced in American society in the 50's. The Beat Generation So what is the Beat Generation? What was going on? post-WWII
The Bloomsbury Group (complement)
Existentialism (contrast)
Modernism (contrast) They don't
like me. :'( T. S. Eliot "Rather, I think one should write, as nearly as possible, as if he were the first person on earth and was humbly and sincerly putting on paper that which he saw and experienced and loved and lost; what his passing thoughts were and his sorrows and desires." - Neal Cassidy So what did they write about? drugs
Eastern philosophies
hedonism (road trips)
"true-story novels" "For Neal [Cassidy] sex was the one and only holy and important thing in life." - Jack Kerouac Jack Kerouac's Translations of Buddhist Terms
Dharma: "truth law"
Nirvana: "blown-out-ness"
Tathata: "that which everything is"
Tathagata: "attainer to that which everything is"
Bodhisattva-Manasattvas: "beings of great wisdom" On the Road (2012) On The Road by Jack Kerouac Give me some examples! published in 1957
"true-story novel" about the travels of Jack Kerouac (Sal Paradise) across the country with his friend Neal Cassidy (Dean Moriarty)
part of his Legend of Duluoz
in the novel they go on "a quest for self-knowledge and experience"
probably the most influential/famous work to come out of the Beat Generation “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs published in 1959
takes from Borroughs' own experience with drugs
written in a series of vignettes that can be read in any order
primarily about the adventures of William Lee
put on trial for obscenity (along with Ginsberg's Howl) "It relates to nakedness of seeing, to be able to see clearly without any confusing disguises, to see through the disguise."
- Allen Ginsberg on his interpretation of the title Fun fact: Borroughs accidentally shot his wife in the head when he was drunk. What were the effects of the Beat Generation? liberalized American society (revolutions)
people became more lenient with censorship
rock and roll
opposition to the military
beatniks and hippies Ever wonder why The Beatles spelled their name with an "a"? It was in reference to the Beat Generation! John Lennon was a fan of Jack Kerouac. Also, Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan were close friends. What's the difference between beatniks and hippies? Beatniks Hippies dark appearance kept it low-key did not participate in political movements a bit more intellectual belief in the spiritual realm (taking from Eastern and Native American religions) colorful appearance displayed individuality very involved in political movements not so intellectual... Want to learn more? Read...
"Howl" by Allen Ginsburg
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Beat (2000)
Howl (2010)
On The Road (2012)
(If you can find it, watch Pull My Daisy (1959) too. It's a short film written by Jack Kerouac himself!)
Full transcript