Beat Generation Archive

  • Expatriate writer, composer, and traveler Paul Bowles (1910-1999) stepped away from it all and reported back to us through his novels and short stories and is featured here in a documentary 'Let it Come Down'. He lived 52 years in Tangier, Morocco, and wrote evocatively of the place and its peoples. His most famous for his influential 1949 novel, The Sheltering Sky, was filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

    Paul Bowles Documentary: ‘Let it Come Down’

    Expatriate writer, composer, and traveler Paul Bowles (1910-1999) stepped away from it all and reported back to us through his novels and short stories and is featured here in a documentary 'Let it Come Down'. He lived 52 years in Tangier, Morocco, and wrote evocatively of the place and its peoples. His most famous for his influential 1949 novel, The Sheltering Sky, was filmed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

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  • Paul Bowles during his life (1910-1999) remained aloof from all the hipsters and hypesters of U.S. letters. Living in self-imposed exile in Tangier, he had cast a spell over such talents as Tennessee Williams, Libby Holman, Truman Capote, and Allen Ginsberg. We revisit an essay penned by Jay McInerny in 1985, on how the inimitable expatriate writer-composer's dark arts retain their power, even more so 32 years later.

    Stranger in Tangier: Paul Bowles Under The Sheltering Sky

    Paul Bowles during his life (1910-1999) remained aloof from all the hipsters and hypesters of U.S. letters. Living in self-imposed exile in Tangier, he had cast a spell over such talents as Tennessee Williams, Libby Holman, Truman Capote, and Allen Ginsberg. We revisit an essay penned by Jay McInerny in 1985, on how the inimitable expatriate writer-composer's dark arts retain their power, even more so 32 years later.

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  • The documentary, 'Bukowski: Born into This' rehashes stories of the inimitable misanthrope, poet, and author Charles Bukowski. Post features the poem, 'Dinosauria, we.'

    Bukowski’s ‘Born Into This’ – Treachery, Hatred, Violence, Absurdity

    The documentary, 'Bukowski: Born into This' rehashes stories of the inimitable misanthrope, poet, and author Charles Bukowski. Post features the poem, 'Dinosauria, we.'

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  • Cassavetes' Shadows "improvises" Beat Generation Manhattan, where two brothers and a sister, black but inexplicably played by two white actors, careening off track to scaled-back sketches of Charles Mingus' saxophone jazz yearnings. Black and white neon signs blink and the old Times Square looms like the otherworld, naturalistic cordial racism separating the chosen from the downtrodden, both dreaming of making it, of creating something.

    Improvised Beat Generation Dreams of John Cassavetes

    Cassavetes' Shadows "improvises" Beat Generation Manhattan, where two brothers and a sister, black but inexplicably played by two white actors, careening off track to scaled-back sketches of Charles Mingus' saxophone jazz yearnings. Black and white neon signs blink and the old Times Square looms like the otherworld, naturalistic cordial racism separating the chosen from the downtrodden, both dreaming of making it, of creating something.

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  • John Adams' "The Dharma at Big Sur," composed for the opening of LA's Disney Hall, references Jack Kerouac's evocation of the first of Buddha's Four Noble Truths in microtones, celebrating the freedom of the California coast at Big Sur.

    Adams on Kerouac: The Buddha’s First Noble Truth Unveiled at Big Sur

    John Adams' "The Dharma at Big Sur," composed for the opening of LA's Disney Hall, references Jack Kerouac's evocation of the first of Buddha's Four Noble Truths in microtones, celebrating the freedom of the California coast at Big Sur.

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  • Jack Kerouac wrote in 1950: “I wish to evoke that indescribable sad music of the night in America–for reasons which are never deeper than the music. Bop only begins to express that American music. It is the actual inner sound of a country.”

    Jack Kerouac’s Lowell Blues: Cast-off Boots of Time

    Jack Kerouac wrote in 1950: “I wish to evoke that indescribable sad music of the night in America–for reasons which are never deeper than the music. Bop only begins to express that American music. It is the actual inner sound of a country.”

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  • Burroughs wanted to free people from the slavery of addiction, whether to heroin or money or sex. "The Garden of Earthly Delights" was his shorthand for the diseased saturnalia of American affluence. From his earliest writings Burroughs foresaw a time when human beings, drenched in orgasmic "freedom," would be reduced to their bodies, their minds completely manipulated by advertising and mass media.

    William S. Burroughs – Commissioner of Literary Addictions

    Burroughs wanted to free people from the slavery of addiction, whether to heroin or money or sex. "The Garden of Earthly Delights" was his shorthand for the diseased saturnalia of American affluence. From his earliest writings Burroughs foresaw a time when human beings, drenched in orgasmic "freedom," would be reduced to their bodies, their minds completely manipulated by advertising and mass media.

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