beat generation


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

beat generation,

term applied to certain American artists and writers who were popular during the 1950s. Essentially anarchic, members of the beat generation rejected traditional social and artistic forms. The beats sought immediate expression in multiple, intense experiences and beatific illumination like that of some Eastern religions (e.g., Zen BuddhismZen Buddhism,
Buddhist sect of China and Japan. The name of the sect (Chin. Ch'an, Jap. Zen) derives from the Sanskrit dhyana [meditation]. In China the school early became known for making its central tenet the practice of meditation, rather than adherence
..... Click the link for more information.
). In literature they adopted rhythms of simple American speech and of bop and progressive jazz. Among those associated with the movement were the novelists Jack KerouacKerouac, Jack
(John Kerouac) , 1922–69, American novelist, b. Lowell, Mass., studied at Columbia. One of the leaders of the beat generation, a term he is said to have coined, he was the author of the largely autobiographical novel On the Road
..... Click the link for more information.
 and Chandler Brossard, numerous poets (e.g., Kenneth RexrothRexroth, Kenneth,
1905–82, American poet, critic, and translator, b. South Bend, Ind. A resident of San Francisco, he was briefly associated with the beat generation, although he disdained their lack of discipline.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Allen GinsbergGinsberg, Allen
, 1926–97, American poet, b. Paterson, N.J., grad. Columbia, 1949. An outspoken member of the beat generation, Ginsberg is best known for Howl (1956), a long poem attacking American values in the 1950s.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Lawrence FerlinghettiFerlinghetti, Lawrence
, 1919–, American author and publisher, b. Yonkers, N.Y. In 1951 he moved to San Francisco and helped found the City Lights Bookshop, which became a center for writers of the beat generation.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Gregory Corso), and others, many of whom worked in and around San Francisco. Perhaps the only true nihilist of the group was William S. BurroughsBurroughs, William Seward,
1914–97, American novelist, b. St. Louis, grad. Harvard, 1936, moved to New York City, 1943. He was an elder member of the beat generation.
..... Click the link for more information.
. During the 1960s "beat" ideas and attitudes were absorbed by other cultural movements, and those who practiced something akin to the "beat" lifestyle were called "hippies."

Bibliography

See A. Ginsburg, The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats (2017, compiled and ed. by B. Morgan); B. Cook, The Beat Generation (1971, repr. 1982), J. Tytell, Naked Angels (1976, repr. 1991), E. H. Foster, Understanding the Beats (1992), D. Sterritt, Mad to Be Saved: The Beats, the 50s, and Film (1998), and J. Campbell, This Is the Beat Generation (2001); documentary, The Source (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
The rest is history: Kesey's life as a countercultural figure who was a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s - the operative word being "countercultural," as in anti-establishment: the very antithesis of all things "square.
Although cursorily conceding that "restless, rebellious, confused youth living it up" appealed to some adherents--not Podhoretz's audience, of course--he stressed that the Beat Generation "is hostile to civilization; it worships primitivism, instinct, energy, 'blood.
Given its past as a Beat Generation hangout, the clientele and staff remain relatively bohemian.
THE TOPIC: Even among the Beat Generation of which he formed an integral part, William S.
They implicate the reader as a kind of spectator and participant and, in their incorporation of features from the spatiotemporal arts, they propose a kind of dramaturgy for the beat generation that is strangely absent in--but is now illuminated by--Beat Generation.
Although McNally does refer to the poem as "devoid of meaning in the common sense" in Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation and America (1979), he does not argue that it is the "Deathblow Putdown" Stephenson links his reading to; rather, McNally suggests Old Angel Midnight attempts to catch the "infinite sound of the universe .
The memoir, which was rereleased in 2007 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Kerouac's seminal novel, was one of many attempts Cassady made to correct what she saw as myths about the Beat Generation and misrepresentation of her husband.
The report examines the impact under 25-year-olds are having on the cultural offerings of some of Europe's youngest cities, and liens them to the Beat Generation of the likens them to the Beat Generation 1950s in the way they are instigating an explosion of culture in the city.
Readers liked Neal Broverman's analysis of the gay angle hidden within, or possibly missing from, the recent film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's Beat generation classic On the Road.
Stewart stars as the promiscuous Marylou, the 16-year-old wife of Dean Moriarty (Hedlund) in the Walter Salles adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic beat generation novel.
Director Walter Salles spent years developing the film, which also stars Garrett Hedlund as beat generation free spirit Dean Moriarty and Kirsten Dunst, who appears in just four scenes as Dean's wife, Camille.
Without directly referring to the scandal, Stewart, 22, told Reuters she was thankful "to know that everyone is here" and the support she described as "amazing" before she walked into the premiere of On The Road based on Jack Kerouac's seminal book of the postwar Beat Generation.