Ed Sanders – Tales of Beatnik Glory


“… Foremost, it was [Ed] Sanders’s time, most certainly—Tales of Beatnik Glory proves it. As the owner of the Peace Eye bookstore, publisher of the legendary Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts, and founding member of The Fugs, Ed Sanders was a central figure and originator on the beatnik-hippie scene. This new edition of his mammoth ode to the ’60s, written over a 30-year span, contains two new volumes in addition to the earlier two volumes published in 1975 and 1990, and brings the ‘interlocking story-flow to the end of 1969.’ It is both sweet, thrilling, and sad to be reading the completed work in my apartment in the East Village, Sanders’s old stomping grounds, where four-room tenement apartments sell for $400,000 and up. Diners and cheap eats have been replaced by faux Belgium bars hawking steak frites that, if it were 1965 again,would set you back thirty bucks in rent. Idling bulldozers sit next to 19th-century buildings, waiting to bring down the old Bowery and replace it with glass-walled condos that start at three million. Who has replaced the artists, poets, and lower income residents of the East Village and Lower East Side? Whose times are these? Tales of Beatnik Glory is a history lesson, activist primer, and an innovative hybrid of both prose and poetry and fiction and memoir. Set mostly in the Lower East Side of New York City, the stories are populated with real citizens (such as underground filmmaker Jonas Mekas, fellow Fug Tuli Kupferberg, and poet Allen Ginsberg) mingling with Sanders’s composites of local characters. Part of the pleasure in reading the work is recognizing real places that still exist (like the Catholic Worker), and imagining ones that should have (like the Total Assault Cafe, the House of Nothingness Cafe, and the Luminous Animal Theater). In the beatnik universe and cosmos, everyone is a poet and artist, coffeehouses are packed, heaven is a used bookstore, and Auden a local hero. …”
Rain Taxi
NY Times: Fun and games in East Village (Nov. 1975)
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About 1960s: Days of Rage

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This entry was posted in Allen Ginsberg, Books, Ed Sanders, Hippie, LSD, Music, The Fugs and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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