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Coda

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2020

Steven Belletto
Affiliation:
Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

Other books remain to be written about what happened in the 1970s and after when the Beat sensibility fractured and morphed into different kinds of literary, cultural, and political expression – even as figurations of “Beat” never vanished entirely. Such books could indeed explore what exactly it means for “Beat” to not have vanished. I can imagine an obvious answer, which would inevitably include the idea that the Beats must be relevant because they are still popular, selling enough books and related merchandise that the Big Three, though dead, are somehow still releasing “new” uncollected work, while lesser-known figures are being recovered or discovered because they are labeled Beat. This sort of circular thinking may account for the admiring feature films, documentaries, websites, and festivals that continue to appear with some regularity, as well as small wonders like the Beat Museum, equal parts event space, reliquary, and gift shop, that opened in San Francisco in 2003. Remember that Bob Dylan, who had advertised his connections to and sympathies with the Beats on his early albums – notably Bringing It All Back Home (1965), the back cover of which has photographs of Dylan and Ginsberg symbolically modeling the same top hat – won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, and you have good evidence of the movement’s staying power.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Beats
A Literary History
, pp. 373 - 375
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Coda
  • Steven Belletto, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: The Beats
  • Online publication: 20 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316817179.019
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  • Coda
  • Steven Belletto, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: The Beats
  • Online publication: 20 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316817179.019
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Coda
  • Steven Belletto, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
  • Book: The Beats
  • Online publication: 20 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316817179.019
Available formats
×