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The Beat Generation was never a large movement in terms of sheer numbers, but in influence and cultural status they were more visible than any other competing aesthetic. The years immediately after the Second World War saw a wholesale reappraisal of the conventional structures of society.
Just as the postwar economic boom was taking hold, students in universities were beginning to question the rampant materialism of their society.
The Beat Generation was a product of this questioning. They saw runaway capitalism as destructive to the human spirit and antithetical to social equality.
The taboos against frank discussions of sexuality were seen as unhealthy and possibly damaging to the psyche. In the world of literature and art, the Beats stood in opposition to the clean, almost antiseptic formalism of the early twentieth century Modernists.
They fashioned a literature that was more bold, straightforward, and expressive than anything that had come before.
Underground music styles like jazz were especially evocative for Beat writers, while threatening and sinister to the establishment. To many, the artistic productions of the Beats crossed the line into pornography and therefore merited censorship.
Time has proven that the cultural Essay on beat generation of the Beat writers was far from short-lived, as the influence of their work continues to be widespread. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg formed the core of this initial group, and they would remain bulwarks of the Beat sensibility for years to come.
Lucien Carr, John Clellon Holmes, and Neal Cassidy were also original members of this coterie, though their clout was somewhat less than the others. Gregory Corso was a first wave Beat poet who Ginsberg met a bar.
For the Beat Generation, the shadowy underside of society could harbor every bit as much creative genius as the gilded halls of the academy. Despite their anti-establishment and anti-academy pretentions, the Beats were all well-educated and generally from middle class backgrounds. Burroughs was another original Beat writer, though slightly older and more experienced than his contemporaries.
Burroughs was found unfit to serve in the Army during World War II, and had spent several years wandering and doing odd jobs. The Beat Generation pulled from a variety of source materials to construct their particular vision of literature and culture.
Several of the originators claim Romantic poets as major influences on their work. Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake are often cited as especially influential on the development of the Beat aesthetic.
Interspersed with their Romantic influences were surrealist and absurdist tendencies. At the same time, the American Transcendental Movement of the nineteenth century was a powerful inspiration for the confrontational politics of the Beats. Henry David Thoreau was particularly revered as a symbol of protest.
Conversely, the artistic production of the American Modernists was in many ways reviled by the Beats. The neo-classical formalism of T. Eliot was rejected as too much removed from real life and experience.
Eliot embraced his status as an academic, while to the Beat Generation he was simply one more elitist with pretentions of grandeur. The elder statesman of the Beat Generation was the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. City Lights quickly become a hub of Beat Generation literati.
Around the same time, Ferlinghetti also entered the publishing industry, bringing both lesser-known and established poets to the mainstream.
In his own poetry, Ferlinghetti displayed a jazz-inspired rhythm and improvisational spirit. Much like the work of e. Ferlinghetti was known for his combination of humor and darkness, a perfect reflection of the state of America and the world at mid-century.
He saw the decadence and prudery of American culture, and the destructive potential of capitalism gone awry, but his first response was to laugh at the absurdity of it all.
His humor and humanity make his art more timeless, not as weighed down by the historical moment.PURSUIT OF THE Real, and escape from Reality..
An interpretation by Douglas Cooke, licensed Fariña nut. i.) Background: The "Cornell School" Published April 28, , two days before Fariña died in a motorcycle accident, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me became a cult favorite among fans of his music and eventually attracted the attention of a more literary readership through Fariña.
Essay about Influential Poets of the Beat Generation Words | 6 Pages. The Beat Generation of poets was created by a group of poets in the s that were part of a new culture in literature. Whenever you need help with writing a powerful introduction, use one of these recommended essay hook sentences to grab reader’s attention.
Neal Leon Cassady (February 8, – February 4, ) was a major figure of the Beat Generation of the s and the psychedelic and counterculture movements of the s..
He was prominently featured as himself in the "scroll" (first draft) version of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road, and served as the model for the character Dean Moriarty in the version of that book.
Welcome to the new site for Beat Scene magazine. A long running print quarterly devoted to America’s Beat Generation and all those associated with it, artists, writers, musicians. A 7 page paper which examines the ways in which ‘beat generation’ writers Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and their respective writing styles encapsulated their own individual biographies, told in the poetry collections, 'Turtle Island,' 'Kaddish,' and the classic novel, 'On the Road.'.