Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village

Overview

Jack Kerouac, arms spread wide, standing on a ladder (because poets are workmen, not speakers who lean on lecterns), in a tenement building, illuminated only by bare fluorescent tubes...

Allen Ginsberg, at home in his East Village apartment, posing, grinning, with his Siamese cat perched on his back...

Diane di Prima, sitting on top of a piano, dressed simply in men's button-up shirt and slacks, reading at the...

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Overview

Jack Kerouac, arms spread wide, standing on a ladder (because poets are workmen, not speakers who lean on lecterns), in a tenement building, illuminated only by bare fluorescent tubes...

Allen Ginsberg, at home in his East Village apartment, posing, grinning, with his Siamese cat perched on his back...

Diane di Prima, sitting on top of a piano, dressed simply in men's button-up shirt and slacks, reading at the Gaslight Cafe's poetry night...

The doorway of the Cedar Street Tavern on a rainy night, a simple storefront, with a halo of neon light reflected in a puddle on the street...

These are just a handful of the memorable photographs taken by Fred W. McDarrah, one of the first, and most sympathetic, witnesses of a generation of Americans who called themselves "the Beats."

Snapped unobtrusively at parties, gatherings, readings, and performances -- at private homes, in clubs, in tiny rooms, on the streets -- they have become an important record of a time, place, and people who would make radical changes in American life.

From fashion and food to literature and music, the Beats heralded a new way of living, and a new mode of recording their lives. There is hardly a part of American culture today that is untouched by their work.

Fred and Gloria McDarrah lived and worked in the heart of the Beat scene. Astute observers and participants, they faithfully recorded what they saw in word and picture. Besides their own thoughts and images, they amassed a collection of authentic Beat writings, all in the author's own hand or typed by them. Now reproduced for the first time, these writings complement the photographs and memories in giving a full picture of what it was like to be a Beat.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825671609
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press
  • Publication date: 12/22/2000
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 11.32 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface VI
Acknowledgments XI
Anatomy of a Beatnik 1
The Artist's Studio 9
Black Mountain School 17
The Cedar Street Tavern 25
The Club 33
Coffee Houses 45
Allen Ginsberg: Beat-At-Large 63
Jazz and the Beats 81
Ted Joans's Birthday Party 91
Kerouac Writes a Poem 103
Literary Gatherings and Hangouts 119
Literary Publications 135
The Living Theatre 153
Frank O'Hara & the New York School 165
Poetry Readings 181
Portraits on the Beat Scene 195
Rent-a-Beatnik 211
The San Francisco School 221
Street and Park Scenes 239
The Wilentzes and the 8th Street Bookshop 259
Last Stop: Lowell 267
Bibliography 271
Biographical Sketches 274
Index 283
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