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The Portable Beat Reader (Viking portable library) [Paperback]

Ann ed. Charter , Ann Charters
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Aug 1998 Viking portable library

Beginning in the late 1940's, American literature discovered a four-letter word, and the word was "beat." Beat as in poverty and beatitude, ecstasy and exile. Beat was Jack Kerouac touring the American road in prose as fast and reckless as a V-8 Chevy. It was the junk-sick surrealism of William Burroughs; the wild, Whitmanesque poetry of Allen Ginsberg; and the lumberjack Zen of Gary Snyder.

The Portable Beat Reader collects the most significant writing of these and fellow members (and spiritual descendants) of the Beat Generation, including Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso, Diane di Prima, Bob Dylan, Leroi Jones, and Michael McClure. In poetry, fiction, essays, song lyrics, letters, and memoirs, it captures the triumphant rudeness, energy, and exhilaration of a movement that swept through American letters with hurricane force.

Note:"The pages 381-412 are not a misprint. It is a part of the design."

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 681 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc (27 Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140151028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140151022
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 732,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A deft and definitive collection. It catches the flavor of playful, serious defiance of the whole generation." -- Gary Snyder --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About 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.

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.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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The poet Gary Snyder once joked there was no Beat Generation-it consisted of only three or four people, and four people don't make up a generation. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All-purpose guide to the Beats 12 Jan 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This anthology is a great starting point for anyone who wants to get a flavor of the Beat style. For those who crave more, the extensive bibliography is a fine reference. All the major players, women as well as men, are included in this book. If you have to get any general book on the Beat Generation, get this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatific. 19 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
This collection of writings from both the early Beat nucleus (including the not-so-published author Huncke, a real treat), the poets from the west coast scene, and the 'associated cast' of a really varied bunch including Dylan, Kesey, Bukowski, Billy Burroughs...going on to offer later writings of the initial nucleus...as well as three indespensible essays on the more philosophical side to the movement by strong 'allies', make this book a must-have for anyone attempting serious study on the movement both academically of for personal spiritual beatific benefit of the soul and mind and tastebuds...fantastic stuff, they should issue one of these in every hotel room in the whole.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
To understand the workings of the human Id, it is nessecary to first deny it. This book is an introduction into how they were doing it. I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the literary happenings of the Beat generation should have this book as a launching point for further investigation. If you read it, there will most certainly be further investigation.
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