A report on Beat Generation

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
A section devoted to the beat generation at a bookstore in Stockholm, Sweden

Literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era.

- Beat Generation
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi

Washington Square Park

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9.75 acre public park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City.

9.75 acre public park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi
Hangman's Elm
Washington Square, in the New York Public Library collection
Washington Square Arch
Washington Arch, circa 1893 by Childe Hassam
Close-up of the Washington Square Arch
The central fountain, with the Philip Johnson-designed Bobst Library on the right
Visitors wading in the fountain
Chess players in the southwest corner of the park

Later, the park was a gathering area for the Beat generation, folk, and hippie movements in the 1950s and 1960s; in 1958, musician Buddy Holly, a nearby resident of Greenwich Village, spent time in the park both listening to people play and helping guitarists with musical chords.

Morphine in 1997 at Mississippi Nights, St Louis, MO

Morphine (band)

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American alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, and Jerome Deupree in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.

American alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, and Jerome Deupree in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989.

Morphine in 1997 at Mississippi Nights, St Louis, MO
Dana Colley performing with the posthumous Members of Morphine project in 2011

Sandman sang distinctively in a "deep, laid-back croon", and his songwriting featured a prominent beat influence.

Theatrical release poster

On the Road (2012 film)

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2012 adventure drama film directed by Walter Salles.

2012 adventure drama film directed by Walter Salles.

Theatrical release poster
Cast members (from left) Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival
Garrett Hedlund's portrayal of Dean Moriarty was singled out for praise.

The story is based on the years Kerouac spent travelling the United States in the late 1940s with his friend Neal Cassady and several other Beat Generation figures who would go on to fame in their own right, including William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.

First edition

Vanity of Duluoz

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1968 semi-autobiographical novel by Jack Kerouac.

1968 semi-autobiographical novel by Jack Kerouac.

First edition
First edition

It culminates with the beginnings of the beat movement.

Christopher Felver

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Christopher Felver (born October 1946) is an American photographer and filmmaker who has published several books of photos of public figures, especially those in the arts, most notably those associated with beat literature.

Steely Dan performing in 2007. Walter Becker (l) playing electric guitar, Donald Fagen (r) playing melodica.

Steely Dan

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American rock band founded in 1971 in New York by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals).

American rock band founded in 1971 in New York by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals).

Steely Dan performing in 2007. Walter Becker (l) playing electric guitar, Donald Fagen (r) playing melodica.
Guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter left Steely Dan in 1974 when they ceased performing live and began working in the studio exclusively.
Steely Dan, shown here in 2007, toured frequently after reforming in 1993.

Fans of Beat Generation literature, Fagen and Becker named the band after a "revolutionary" steam-powered dildo mentioned in the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch.

Gorski in Louisiana, 2009

Hedwig Gorski

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American performance poet and an avant-garde artist who labels her aesthetic as "American futurism."

American performance poet and an avant-garde artist who labels her aesthetic as "American futurism."

Gorski in Louisiana, 2009
Gorski with Babe Stovall on a 1973 trip to rural Mississippi to visit blues guitarist Roosevelt Holts
Gorski with Václav Havel
Gorski with Swedish actor Peter Stormare in Prague, Czech Republic, backstage at Bob Dylan's concert in October 2003

Unlike the Beats, Gorski wrote her stylized narrative and moody lyrical poetry only for performance with the music composed by D'Jalma Garnier specifically for each poem.

Ann Charters

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Professor of American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Professor of American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

She is a Jack Kerouac and Beat Generation scholar.

Theatrical release poster

So I Married an Axe Murderer

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Axe Murderer is a 1993 American romantic black comedy film, directed by Thomas Schlamme and starring Mike Myers and Nancy Travis.

Axe Murderer is a 1993 American romantic black comedy film, directed by Thomas Schlamme and starring Mike Myers and Nancy Travis.

Theatrical release poster

Charlie MacKenzie is a popular local beat poet living in San Francisco who makes his frequent break-ups the subject of his poems.

Promotional photograph of Morrison during The Smothers Brothers Show in December 1968

Jim Morrison

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American singer, poet and songwriter who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors.

American singer, poet and songwriter who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors.

Promotional photograph of Morrison during The Smothers Brothers Show in December 1968
Morrison, age 19, was arrested in Tallahassee for drunken behavior at a football game
A promotional photo of the Doors in late 1966
Morrison performing with the Doors in 1967
Jim Morrison performing in Copenhagen in September 1968
Los Angeles motel room where Morrison lived between 1968 and 1970; currently covered in graffiti from his fans.
A mug shot of Morrison, taken on September 20, 1970
Morrison and his father on the bridge of the USS Bon Homme Richard in January 1964
Jim Morrison Memorial in Germany (Berlin-Baumschulenweg)
Morrison's grave still without a gravestone at Père Lachaise in Paris, June 1978
Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise in Paris, with the marble bust, June 1981
Morrison's grave with headstone and Greek inscription ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, August 2008
Morrisons’s grave, July 5, 2012
A graffiti of Morrison in Paris, France
Morrison's apartment building in Le Marais, Paris

Beat Generation writers such as Jack Kerouac and libertine writers such as the Marquis de Sade also had a strong influence on Morrison's outlook and manner of expression; Morrison was eager to experience the life described in Kerouac's On the Road.