The Portable Beat Reader

The Portable Beat Reader

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by Ann Charters
     
 

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Through poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, letters, and memoirs, this authoritative single-volume collection of Beat literature captures the triumphant energy of a movement that swept through American letters with hurricane force.
Featuring: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima, Bob Dylan,…  See more details below

Overview

Through poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, letters, and memoirs, this authoritative single-volume collection of Beat literature captures the triumphant energy of a movement that swept through American letters with hurricane force.
Featuring: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima, Bob Dylan, Ken Kesey, Charles Bukowski, Michael McClure, and more.

Author Biography: Ann Charters is the editor of The Portable Sixties Reader, The Portable Jack Kerouac, two volumes of Jack Kerouac's Selected Letters, and Beat Down to Your Soul. She teaches at the University of Connecticut.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cutting through bohemian posturing and excess, Charters here reprints much of the most vital, readable and relevant material produced by the Beat generation, primarily in the 1950s and '60s, with some selections from the '70s and '80s. The novels of such leading figures as Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs lend themselves well to excerpting, giving this volume creditable ballast. Representative works of Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gary Snyder are included along with those of lesser-known Beats (e.g., John Clellon Holmes), fellow travelers like Frank O'Hara and Amiri Baraka, and wives and girlfriends often overlooked at the time, including Hettie Jones, Carolyn Cassady and Joyce Johnson. Charters ( Kerouac ) offers a broad perspective on this seminal literary movement: she links East Coast Beats to the San Francisco Renaissance poets; pays attention to such latter-day Beats as Ed Sanders and Tuli Kupferberg; and explains the position of non-Beat but related writers--Alan Watts, Anne Waldman, Diane DiPrima and the young Norman Mailer--in her helpful introductory essay and notes preceeding each entry. Her energizing, liberating anthology makes it clear that such Beat preoccupations as the bomb, the meaninglessness of modern existence and ecological destruction remain current. ( Jan. )
Library Journal
Charters, a noted critic of the Beat generation and Jack Kerouac's first biographer, has chosen a representative sample of Beat writings for the latest addition to the Viking ``Portables'' series. Arranged chronologically in six sections, it includes excerpts from Kerouac's On the Road , Allen Ginsberg's Howl , and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch , as well as work by Herbert Huncke, Ray Bremser, and lesser-known figures. ``Beat'' is used in its broadest sense to cover the San Francisco Renaissance poets and others, including Bob Dylan, who were influenced by or were sympathetic to the Beats. Robert Creeley's work is conspicuously absent. A general introduction as well as introductions to each section attempt to ``situate the writers in their political, social, and literary contexts.'' This is highly recommended.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
Booknews
Extensive selections from writers such as Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Ferlinghetti, and Snyder, and authors influenced by the Beats, are presented with a general introduction and substantial headnotes by the editor. Material from authors not normally associated with the Beat movement is included as well as work from Beat figures' wives and girlfriends who were writers in their own right. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A deft and definitive collection. It catches the flavor of playful, serious defiance of the whole generation." —Gary Snyder

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140151022
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
10/01/1992
Series:
Viking Portable Library Series
Pages:
688
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.68(h) x 1.26(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A deft and definitive collection. It catches the flavor of playful, serious defiance of the whole generation." — Gary Snyder

Meet the Author

Ann Charters, professor of English at the University of Connecticut, has been interested in Beat writers since 1956. After completing her doctorate she worked with Jack Kerouac to compile his bibliography. She has written a literary study of Charles Olson and biographies of black entertainer Bert Williams, and (with her husband) the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. She was the general editor of the two-volume encyclopaedia The Beats: Literary Bohemians In Postwar America and has published a collection of her photographic portraits of well-known writers in the book Beats & Company. She has also edited Jack Kerouac's On the Road for Penguin Modern Classics.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1936
Place of Birth:
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Education:
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1957; M.A., Columbia University, 1959; Ph.D., 1965

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