beat generation Essay

1051 WordsApr 21, 20095 Pages
The Beat Generation The beat generation is most likely remembered as a result and response against the presidency of Eisenhower in 1950s. It was a group of American writers and a cultural experience that was later on called “beatniks”. The main purpose of the beat culture was to refuse the typical American values and experiment with drugs and forms of sexuality and also influenced by the eastern holiness. The most important writings of the beats were by Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Lucien Carr, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Peter Orlovsky, and John Clellen Holmes. The members of this group quickly became famous as the new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated the way of rebelliousness and natural creativity (Gair, 2008, P. 26). The beat generation originally met in New York but later on they all except for Burroughs moved on to San Francisco and started associating with San Francisco Renaissance in early 1960s. This was a huge transformation to the sixties culture which by the duration of time changed beatnik to “hippie” in the urban life and nationwide. It is very interesting to know where the beats got their name from. The name “beat” was originally brought up by Jack Kerouac in 1948 to differentiate the underground and rebellious youth group in New York. “Beat” was used in terms of tired or beaten up but over the time Kerouac inflated and changed it to a higher level like “upbeat” or “beatific” and in terms of music “on the beat” (Hemmer, 2007, P.240). These writers all met in New York and they are also known as New York Beats even though only Corso was from New York. Although there were some less creative members to this group but those are the ones that brought up the writer’s subjects and supported their intellect. There was Huncke who was a drug-addict and a thief who introduced Burroughs to the junky world and the word “beat” (Gair,

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