Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim

Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim

by Mark Cohen
     
 

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In 1961, Beat writer Seymour Krim set Greenwich Village on its ear with a slim volume of essays that featured an unleashed voice, a brash title, and a foreword by Norman Mailer. James Baldwin called Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer an "extraordinary volume." Saul Bellow published an excerpt in his journal The Noble Savage, and Mailer saluted Krim's jazzy prose with

Overview

In 1961, Beat writer Seymour Krim set Greenwich Village on its ear with a slim volume of essays that featured an unleashed voice, a brash title, and a foreword by Norman Mailer. James Baldwin called Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer an "extraordinary volume." Saul Bellow published an excerpt in his journal The Noble Savage, and Mailer saluted Krim's jazzy prose with its "shifts and shatterings of mood." Despite such praise and critical attention, Krim's work is excluded from most Beat anthologies and is little known outside literary circles. With Missing a Beat, a collection of eighteen essays by Krim published between 1957 and 1989, Cohen introduces this influential writer to a new generation.

In the Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Times, and elsewhere, Krim pioneered a new style of subjective and personal reporting to write about the postwar American scene from a Jewish angle. Aggressively unacademic, Krim's journalism displays the "rapid, nervous, breathless tempo" that Irving Howe called a hallmark of Jewish literature.

Krim outlived his early literary fame, but he produced an impressive body of work and was a tremendous prose stylist. Missing a Beat resurrects an American original, finding Krim a new literary home among such celebrated writers as Norman Mailer, David Mamet, and Saul Bellow.

Editorial Reviews

Neworld Review
[W]e should feel lucky to still encounter the contributions that Seymour Krim has made to the literary and nonliterary worlds of both yesterday and today.
Jewish Book World
It is tempting to call Seymour Krim a kvetch for all seasons, but the pieces in this collection indicate that he was definitely a man of his time and place- Greenwich Village during the decades following World War II.... Confessional writing as candid as this is both rare and refreshing.
Tablet Magazine
Krim had one of the most distinctive voices of his generation-postwar New York intellectual-his rare ability to express the delicate and seamy undersides of human emotions continues to astonish me.
Choice
An excellent resource for anyone interested in journalism or in cultural or American studies.
American Book Review
"Seymour Krim: Never heard of him? Start by reading the book cover to cover. If you know Seymour Krim, the collection of "pieces," a compendium of his grand kvetches, will remind you of a true indispensable American individual."
Forward
Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim" selects essays from Krim's first collection, "Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer" (1961), and others from "Shake It for the World, Smartass" (1971) and "You and Me" (1974), in addition to stray articles for the likes of The Nation and The New York Times. The mere presence of this book makes me happy, let alone Mark Cohen's sympathetic editing and introductions. Krim has been out of print for too long.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780815609483
Publisher:
Syracuse University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2010
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Cohen is a cultural critic and lecturer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of numerous articles on Jewish American literature and popular culture and of the book Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839â?"1943.

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