The beat generation 1940s 1950s powerpoint

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The beat generation 1940s 1950s powerpoint

  1. 1. The Beat Generation 1940s – 1950s “It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul; a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being dramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself. A man is beat whenever he goes for broke and wagers the sum of his resources on a single number; and the young generation has done that continually from early youth.” -- John Clellon Holmes The Beat Generation
  2. 2.  The Beat Generation is a term used to describe both:  a group of American writers who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  the cultural phenomena that they wrote about and inspired (later sometimes called "beatniks").
  3. 3. “The Beat Generation” and it’s “beatniks”.  Term coined by Jack Kerouac, famous Beat poet and author.  Describes the down and out status of himself and his peers during the post WWII years.  Jazz musicians on the streets in New York City, in response to how they were doing, sometimes said they were “beat,” meaning they were down and out, looking for work, a place to display their creativity, and they were open to whatever opportunities or inspirations offered to them.  Evolved in the mid-1940s in the work of writers and poets Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, William S. Burroughs, John Clellon Holmes, and Anne Waldman, among others.  These friends collaborated with one another and wrote pieces that rebelled against the popular poetry of the time
  4. 4.  Amongst the best known of the writers known as the Beat Generation.  Kerouac's work was popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others.  Best known for On the Road (1958).
  5. 5.  Based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America.  It is often considered a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation that was inspired by jazz, poetry, and drug experiences.  When the book was originally released, the New York Times hailed it as "the most beautifully executed, the clearest and most important utterance" of Kerouac's generation.
  6. 6.  Another well known writer in the Beat Generation.  Best known for Howl (1956), a long poem celebrating his friends of the Beat Generation and attacking what he saw as the destructive forces of materialism and conformity in the United States at the time.
  7. 7.  Written in 1955; it consisted of 3 parts.  Famous line from:  I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix; Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.
  8. 8. In 1955 the Beat movement came to national prominence in the United States when Lawrence Ferlinghetti, publisher of Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, was charged with printing and selling an obscene book. After the charges were inevitably dropped, the book became immensely popular and the Beat movement became famous.
  9. 9.  Primary member of the Beat Generation, he was an avant-garde author who affected popular culture as well as literature.  Much of his work is semi-autobiographical, drawn from his experiences as an opiate addict.
  10. 10.  Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.  Drawn from Burroughs own experience in and his addiction to drugs.  The way that the novel is written is interesting, with many sub-stories all feeding into the plot.
  11. 11. Non - Conformity The Goal of the Beat Generation writers was to defy conventional writing styles. They were against conformity and tradition. The generation that lived before them questioned WHY they lived, but the Beat Generation tried to figure out HOW to live. Questioned mainstream politics and culture. Politically radical and anti-authoritarian.
  12. 12. Experimentation •Religion • Eastern religions like Buddhism • Meditation •Drugs • Psychedelic drugs such as marijuana, LSD, and mushrooms were taken to expand the mind and creative experiences of the poets who chose to take them •Sexual Freedom • They did not seek to hide their sexuality or beliefs or experimentation, some of the things that made them who they are.  I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night . . .  Howl by Allan Ginsburg
  13. 13. The Architects of Change • Writing was based on life experience, and was always raw and uncensored. They looked for truth in their writing and spoke against social evil, such as injustice and racism, war and corruption. •The openness and interest in trying new things made them aware of the world around them, and brought social issues to the forefront of their writing. •The Beat movement was just one of the precursors to the love, freedom, and activism of the 1960s, including the fight for Civil Rights.
  14. 14. Works Cited  The Academy of American Poets. “A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets.” 29 Feb. 2008. <http://www.poets.org/viewmed ia.php/prmMID5646>.  Ginsberg, Allen. Foreword. The Beat Book: Poems and Fiction of the Beat Generation. Ed. Anne Waldman. Boston: Shambhala, 1996.  Holmes, John Clellon. “This Is the Beat Generation.” New York Times Magazine. 16 Nov. 1952. 29 Feb.2008. <http://www.litkicks.co m/Texts/ThisIsBeatGen.html>.  Waldman, Anne. Editor’s Introduction. The Beat Book: Poems and Fiction of the Beat Generation. Ed. Anne Waldman. Boston: Shambhala, 1996.

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