Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 305


Hot news from Real Gone Music – reissues of two essential Beat albums (limited editions in vinyl) – Allen’s classic 1966 recording of Kaddish and the Jack Kerouac-Steve Allens recording Poetry For The Beat Generation, (Jack’s debut as a recording artist).

Both are officially due out April 7, but pre-ordering will be available and details will be announced soon.

For further information on both these records – see this comprehensive article –  here 


& Just out from the Cambridge University Press, and available in paperback – The Cambridge Companion to The Beats – edited by Steve Belletto, (part of the Cambridge Companions to Literature series).


From the publishers web-site:  ‘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 1960’s, and beyond. Bringing together some of 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 in post-war letters.”

We’d single out (obviously) Erik Mortenson‘s extended essay, “Allen Ginsberg and Beat Poetry”  (and Oliver Harris on William Burroughs (as astute as ever) – “William S. Burroughs: Beating Postmodernism”). The book also has Kurt Hemmer on Jack Kerouac, (and Kirby Olson on Gregory Corso), , but these narrower focuses are actually atypical.

For too long criticism of the Beat Generation  has focused on the biographical exploits of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, (the main figures). This Companion changes that by placing the Beats in wider historical, cultural and literary contexts. Contributers focus on key concerns of Beat writing, including race, gender, sexuality, religion, and transnational circulation.

Here’s a list of the table-of-contents:

Steven Belletto – Introduction: The Beat Half-Century – William Lawlor – Were Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg a Generation? – Jonah Raskin –  Beatniks, Hippies, Yippies, Feminists, and the Ongoing American Counterculture – Regina Weinreich Locating a Beat Aesthetic – Nancy M Grace – The Beats and Literary History: Myths and Realities – Etik Mortensen – Allen Ginsberg and Beat Poetry – Steven Belletto – Five Ways of Being Beat, Circa 1958–59 – Kurt Hemmer – Jack Kerouac and the Beat Novel –  Oliver Harris – William S. Burroughs: Beating Postmodernism  – Brenda Knight – Memory Babes: Joyce Johnson and Beat Memoir – Hilary Holladay –  Beat Writers and Criticism – Ronna C Johnson – The Beats and Gender – Polina Mackay – The Beats and Sexuality – A Robert Lee –  The Beats and Race –Todd F. Tietchen – Ethnographies and Networks: On Beat Transnationalism – John Whalen-Bridge – Buddhism and the Beats – Kirby Olson –  Beat as Beatific: Gregory Corso’s Christian Poetics – Michael Hrebeniak – Jazz and the Beat Generation – David Sterritt – The Beats and Visual Culture


Next Thursday –  don’t forget! –  news of the fate of the Joan Anderson letter


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