Category Archives: Jack Kerouac

Ken Kesey: One Who Wigged Out (May 1966)

“Where is novelist Ken Kesey? It has been months and still no word on him. Not since O. Henry, 70 years ago, has an American lit­erary figure taken it on the lam after getting into trouble with the law. O. … Continue reading

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Postmodern literature

“Postmodern literature is a form of literature that is characterized by the use of metafiction, unreliable narration, self-reflexivity, intertextuality, and which often thematizes both historical and political issues. This style of experimental literature emerged strongly in the United States in … Continue reading

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Fillmore: The Beats in the Western Addition

“If all art aspires to the condition of music, then in the postwar coteries that would sometimes be called beat, that music was jazz, and its salient qualities were spontaneity, improvisation, collaboration, subversion, low and outlaw status, hipness/coolness, and an … Continue reading

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Coffee, Confusion and Jim Morrison: The Forgotten History of Hip Coffee Houses and Beatnik Poets in the Nation’s Capital

Cafe Rienzi, opened by painter David Grossblatt, was one of the first coffee shops in New York. Located on MacDougal Street, 1957. “The Beat Generation emerged in the 1950s as a bohemian-fueled movement of visionary literary heroes, passionate poets and … Continue reading

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The strange history of the East Village’s most famous street

The corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark’s Place in 1968. “St. Marks Place—the three blocks of East Eighth Street that run from Astor Place to Tompkins Square Park—has become a symbol of the East Village. Head shops serve as … Continue reading

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Remarks on Timothy Leary’s Politics of Ecstasy by Allen Ginsberg (December 12, 1968)

“By the late ’40s of this memory Century the people I knew best and loved the most had already broken through the crust of old Reason & were dowsing for some Supreme Reality, Christmas on Earth Rimbaud said, Second Religiousness … Continue reading

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Diane di Prima

“Diane di Prima (August 6, 1934 – October 25, 2020) was an American poet, known for her association with the Beat movement. She was also an artist, prose writer, and teacher. Di Prima authored nearly four dozen books. … She edited … Continue reading

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Wanna-Beats: In 1959, Café Bizarre Gave Straights an Entree Into Beatnik Culture

A poet gives a reading on stage at The Bizarre coffehouse on West 3rd St., Greenwich Village, New York City, 1961. “America hit peak hippie in 1967, thanks to the avalanche of media hype that accompanied the Summer of Love. … Continue reading

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The Press of Freedom: An Ofay’s Indirect Address to LeRoi Jones – Vivian Gornick (1965)

“Four men — each a well-known practitioner of one of the arts — appeared on a recent Monday night in the small basement room of the Village Vanguard to address an overflowing crowd on the grandly entitled subject ‘Art vs. … Continue reading

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Tracking the Beat Generation Across Three Continents

Jack Kerouac, “On the Road” (1951) “PARIS — Though almost entirely lacking a female presence — artist Jay DeFeo and poet Diane Di Prima being the exceptions that prove the rule —  the Centre Pompidou’s airily laid out retrospective of … Continue reading

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