March 2, 2017
The Beats, ed Seymour Krim
Unquestionably, the Beatnik scene in the 1950s U.S., and its counterpart in the U.K., the Angry Young Men, brought the Beat Movement to public awareness and provided color and popularity to the movement. I love uncovering original material from the Beatnik era and one of my favorites is a paperback anthology edited by Seymour Krim titled The Beats, published in 1960 with a second edition in 1962 lamenting the end of the Beatnik era.
The back cover of The Beats screams out at the reader the way old ‘50s paperbacks were wont:
The drive, the fury, the frankness they bring to their writing has made the Beat generation the most hotly discussed literary movement of the century. Here is the Beat world, the world that has aroused critics to shocked outrage and loud praise. Here is the jazz, the junk, the jargon—and, above all, the anger. Here is a ruthlessly honest collection of their writing together with some sharp critical assessments of their deliberate and their holy war with Society.
Over the nest several weeks in The Scene I want to devote a number of posts to this amazing time capsule witness of the actual now and present of its colorful time. Krim had a way of describing all the writers and the goings on especially in New York with current Beatnik slang and dramatic this-is-important! urgency. Stay with me here and you won’t regret it.
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