This is a fantastic site.
Interesting how this site distinguises the early "beat" period "sympathetic" writing from later beat writers who were more concerned with a spiritual renewal in literature.
The transition between these two states in writing is something I'm interested in. I'm writing a play with several other collaborators. We are looking at Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs when they lived together in New York in 1944.
At that time, these guys cultivated a "confessional" mode of talking, of sharing and writing that was instant and honest in a way that interested all of them, particularly Kerouac.
John Aster has just written a book called Bop Apocalypse which explores the religious visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs that also explores this notion of confession.
I see interesting relationships and contradictions between religion and the idea of dissent:
Kerouac wanted a new America, but a Wolfean America that embodied a past era of freedom. He was a Catholic and a Republican but lived a nonconformist bohemian lifestyle, drinking, living with other disorderly artist types, womanising, etc.
Burroughs wanted to find the Holy Grail, whether it happened to be Junk or Yage or a routine or some notion of time-travel or some theory that reduces language to myth. A junkie, a gentleman, an openly homosexual man (although the concept of 'gay' was just developping) in the 40's who shot and killed his wife then spent the rest of his life using his body as an experiment and documenting it.
Ginsberg was prophetic. He was a left leaning Jew and atheist, He was young, energetic, nervous, anxious to see the world transform, heralding its change.
We're in need of some reseach items, particularly, if one knows where I can find New York newspapers from 1944 on the web?
I'm excited about this play and am just inviting anyone to share thoughts, stories, writing or ask me questions. I have a pretty good file of research that keeps building up.
So,... Has anyone read BOP APOCALYPSE???