Down & Out: Beat Generation 101

WAHOUDOK  I stumbled across the Beat Generation around five years ago. The realisation of Hobessian life being solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short drove me to seek for some meaning, despite my thoughts being overwritten by nihilistic whims repeatedly. Growing up in awe of romanticists like John Keats, William Wordsworth, Khwairakpam Chaoba and others in high school was one thing but it was totally another to relate to the things social, political and economic and shits, happening around us.

Simply put, it was making me disillusioned in a hometown whose description of a society can be summed up alliteratively in blood, bombs and bullets. Now the high school stuffs are gone and I even have a term, ‘heiraang-leiraang lit’ (Heiraang Leiraang in the Write Direction, Nov 2010), to label these poets and their verses of sweetness and softness.

Do not accuse me of defection! I do like a Lamabam Kamal or a Dylan Thomas work now and then. However, in the beatniks, at least I have seen, if not a solution that there is clearly a missing link between our aspirations and lived experiences.

In the same breath, I would admit that I do not believe in hero-worshipping. Life is not fair but there are sane explanations from the wiser people about our living conditions. Finally, I have also met from my hometown some great folks who share a liking for the sort of Beat Generation works in parts and who share the same ideas about the way of life as a whole.

Beat it!

Courtesy: The images of the three beatniks are graphically stencilised from their Wikimedia Commons' original photos
ginsberg: Materialscientist
burroughs: Kobac
kerouac: Scewing

Contemporary online hangout joints:
All Things Allen Ginsberg
Beat Studies Association
The Allen Ginsberg Project / A Ginsberg Blog
The Beat Generation in a Scholastic Analysis / Beat Museum

A Review Article: Chronicle of the Beat Generation by George Hitchcock / Marxists Internet Archive
Beating Rhetoric: Rhetorical Theory in the Beat Generation by Stephen M Llano / University of Pittsburgh
Missing Beats: Marginalised Women of the Beat Generation by Jessica Marie Farrugia / The Artifice
Beat, Beatnik, or Diet Beat: The Choice of a New Generation by Mitchell J. Smith / Nideffer’s blog

Information for the posters from:
Literary Kicks / Intellectual Curiosities and Provocations
A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets / Academy of American Poets
Drive, He Wrote by Louis Menand / The New Yorker
Beat Generation / Wikipedia
Beat Generation Literary Criticism / Project Muse

Films on/about the Beat Generation:
Pull My Daisy (1958, short film), The Beat Generation (1959, motion picture), A Bucket of Blood (1959 motion picture), The Subterraneans (1960 motion picture), Greenwich Village Story (1961), Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), Heart Beat (1980 motion picture), What Happened to Kerouac? (1986 documentary), Naked Lunch (1991 motion picture), Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg (1993 documentary), Allen Ginsberg Live in London (1995 documentary), The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), The Source (1999 documentary), Beat (2000 motion picture), American Saint (2001 dramatic motion picture), Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs on the Road (2007), Neal Cassady (2007), Crazy Wisdom: The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (2008 documentary), Howl (2010 motion picture), William S. Burroughs: A Man Within (2010 documentary), Magic Trip (2011 documentary), Big Sur (2012 motion picture), Corso: The Last Beat (2012 documentary), On the Road (2012 motion picture), The Beat Hotel (2012 documentary), Kill Your Darlings (2013 motion picture)



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