The Cool School: Writing from America's Hip Underground

The Cool School: Writing from America's Hip Underground

by Glenn O'Brien (Editor)


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Who were the original hipsters? In this dazzling collection, Glenn O’Brien provides a kaleidoscopic guided tour through the margins and subterranean tribes of mid-twentieth century America—the worlds of jazz, of disaffected postwar youth, of those alienated by racial and sexual exclusion, of outlaws and drug users creating their own dissident networks. Whether labeled as Bop or Beat or Punk, these outsider voices ignored or suppressed by the mainstream would merge and recombine in unpredictable ways, and change American culture forever.
To read The Cool School is to experience the energies of that vortex. Drawing on memoirs, poems, novels, comedy routines, letters, essays, and song lyrics, O’Brien creates an unparalleled literary mix tape bringing together Henry Miller, Miles Davis, Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, Lenny Bruce, William S. Burroughs, Bob Dylan, Annie Ross, Norman Mailer, Terry Southern, Andy Warhol, Lester Bangs, and dozens of others, including such legendary figures as Beat avatar Neal Cassady, jazz memoirist Babs Gonzales, inspired comic improviser Lord Buckley, no-holds-barred essayist Seymour Krim, and underground filmmaker Jack Smith. His one-of-a-kind anthology recreates an unforgettable era in all its hallucinatory splendor: transgressive, raucous, unruly, harrowing, and often subversively hilarious.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598532562
Publisher: Library of America
Publication date: 10/17/2013
Pages: 500
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Glenn O’Brien is the author of Soapbox, Human Nature: Dubbed Version, and How To Be A Man. A former editor at Interview, Rolling Stone, Spin, and High Times, he writes frequently on contemporary art, supplied the lead catalog essay to the Whitney Museum exhibition “Beat Culture and the New America: 1950-65,” and is a contributing editor at Ten, L’Officiel Homme, and GQ, where he writes the “Style Guy” column.

Table of Contents

Introduction Glenn O'Brien xi

If You Can't Make Money Mezz Mezzrow Bernard Wolfe 3

From Miles: The Autobiography Miles Davis 16

Soirée in Hollywood Henry Miller 28

From I Paid My Dues Babs Gonzales 38

Heroin Art Pepper 45

Spencer's Pad Herbert Huncke 61

A Diabolist Carl Solomon 64

Letter to Jack Kerouac, March 7, 1947 (Kansas City, Mo.) Neal Cassady 66

A Portrait of the Hipster Anatole Broyard 69

Hamlet, or There Is Something Wrong With Everyone Delmore Schwartz 77

From Who Walk in Darkness Chandler Brossard 83

You're Too Hip, Baby Terry Southern 96

Twisted Annie Ross 109

The Naz Lord Buckley 111

Parker's Mood King Pleasure 116

From Memoirs of a Beatnik Diane Di Prima 118

The Origins of the Beat Generation Jack Kerouac 124

From Minor Characters Joyce Johnson 134

Marriage Gregory Corso 144

Walking Parker Home Bob Kaufman 149

Lesterparis59 Lester Young François Postif 151

The White Negro Norman Mailer 157

The Day Lady Died Frank O'Hara 182

The Screamers Amiri Baraka Leroi Jones 184

From Cain's Book Alexander Trocchi 192

The Ballad of the Sad Young Men Fran Landesman 207

The Pop Imagination John Clellon Holmes 209

Making It! Seymour Krim 224

Dictionary of Hip Words and Phrases Del Close 232

Pills and Shit: The Drug Scene Lenny Bruce 242

The Billy Graham Rally Mort Sahl 254

From Chronicles: Volume One Bob Dylan 258

The Perfect Filmic Appositeness of Maria Montez Jack Smith 269

Last Words William S. Burroughs 281

Siobhan McKenna Group-Grope Ed Sanders 290

From Nog Rudolph Wurlitzer 297

From The Process Brion Gysin 311

From Mumbo Jumbo Ishmael Reed 320

Frenchy and Cuban Pete Bobbie Louise Hawkins 325

The Kool-Aid Wino Richard Brautigan 330

From a: a novel Andy Warhol 333

Photos of an Artist as a Young Man Gerard Malanga 340

From Dino Nick Tosches 342

From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson 352

Luckies vs. Camels: Who Will Win? Richard Meltzer 362

How I Became One of the Invisible David Rattray 367

From After Claude Iris Owens 376

How to Succeed in Torture Without Really Trying Lester Bangs 385

Blank Generation Richard Hell 399

Madame Realism Asks What's Natural About Painting? Lynne Tillman 401

Abduction and Rape-Highway 31-1969 Cookie Mueller 407

Roy Cohn Gary Indiana 418

The Velvet Well Richard Prince 433

Beatnik Executives Glenn O'Brien 446

Sinatra Walks Out Emily XYZ 452

America Eric Bogosian 458

A Modern Man George Carlin 461

Sources & Acknowledgments 467

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