The Cambridge Companion to the Beats

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Steven Belletto
Cambridge University Press, Feb 13, 2017 - Literary Criticism - 332 pages
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The Cambridge Companion to the Beats offers an in-depth overview of one of the most innovative and popular literary periods in America, the Beat era. The Beats were a literary and cultural phenomenon originating in New York City in the 1940s that reached worldwide significance. Although its most well-known figures are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, the Beat movement radiates out to encompass a rich diversity of figures and texts that merit further study. Consummate innovators, the Beats had a profound effect not only on the direction of American literature, but also on models of socio-political critique that would become more widespread in the 1960s and beyond. Bringing together the most influential Beat scholars writing today, this Companion provides a comprehensive exploration of the Beat movement, asking critical questions about its associated figures and arguing for their importance to postwar American letters.
 

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Contents

The Beat HalfCentury
1
Were Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs
23
Beatniks Hippies Yippies Feminists and the Ongoing American
36
Locating a Beat Aesthetic
51
Allen Ginsberg and Beat Poetry
77
Five Ways of Being Beat Circa 195859
92
Jack Kerouac and the Beat Novel
110
Beating Postmodernism
123
The Beats and Gender
162
The Beats and Sexuality
179
The Beats and Race
193
On Beat Transnationalism
209
Buddhism and the Beats
225
Gregory Corsos Christian Poetics
240
Jazz and the Beat Generation
250
The Beats and Visual Culture
265

Joyce Johnson and Beat Memoir
137
Beat Writers and Criticism
151

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About the author (2017)

Steven Belletto is Associate Professor of English at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. He is author of No Accident, Comrade: Chance and Design in Cold War American Narratives (2012), co-editor of American Literature and Culture in an Age of Cold War: A Critical Reassessment (2012) and editor of the volume American Literature in Transition, 1950-1960 (Cambridge, forthcoming). He is also the author of numerous articles on post-1945 American literature and culture that have appeared in journals such as American Literature, American Quarterly, ELH, and Twentieth-Century Literature. From 2011 to 2016 he was Associate Editor for the journal Contemporary Literature, for which he is currently co-editor.

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