Presentation on theme: "By Jake Martin. What was it? The Beat Generation was a group of authors whose literature explored and influenced American culture in the post-World."— Presentation transcript:
What was it? The Beat Generation was a group of authors whose literature explored and influenced American culture in the post-World War II era. They were centered around embracing new ideas while simultaneously rejecting the old values of consumerism and materialism, as well as rejecting homophobia and racism. Central elements of "Beat" culture : rejection of standard narrative values, the spiritual quest, exploration of American and Eastern religions, rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration.
Who was involved? The original founders Herbert Huncke : A natural storyteller who is believed to have originally coined the term “beat” Allen Ginsberg: A vigorous opponent of militarism, materialism, and sexual repression. His most famous work, Howl, was very controversial at the time because it depicted homosexual sex at a time when many laws made homosexual acts a crime in every state William S. Burroughs : Wrote 18 novels/novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. He was also a Harvard graduate. Jack Kerouac : An author known for his work covering topics such as catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, and Buddhism. Lucien Carr: Another writer, although not nearly as successful as his friends
Why was it started? The main cause of it was a central group of authors wishing to explore and influence American culture in the post-World War II era. New progressive ideas such as recreational drug usage as well as sexual liberation/exploration were thought of by these authors and included in their works. Notable works such as “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg became very well known which spread around the ideas of the Beat Generation.
How were the ideas spread? The ideas of the Beat authors were generally spread through their writings, including personal essays, poetry, novels/novellas, and newspaper articles. Underground literature circles would pass them around to each other until they were eventually introduced to the mainstream society. Poetry slams, books trades and official publishings of the authors’ novels all contributed to the growth of the Beat Movement
The Six Gallery Reading The Six Gallery Reading was an important poetry event that took place on Friday, October 7, 1955, at 3119 Fillmore Street in San Francisco. At this event, five poets - (including Allen Ginsberg) – who until then were known mainly within a close company of friends, presented some of their latest works. It was the first important public manifestation of the Beat Generation and helped to herald the West Coast literary revolution that continued the San Francisco Renaissance.
Bibliography http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/beatgeneration. html http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/beatgeneration. html Matterson, Stephen. The Essential Glossary: American Literature. New York. December 27, 2002. https://explore.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/show/sixties/walkthrough/ beatsnewyork1