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The Portable Beat Reader (Viking Portable Library) (1992)

by Ann Charters (Editor)

Other authors: Amiri Baraka (Contributor), Ray Bremser (Contributor), Charles Bukowski (Contributor), William S. Burroughs (Contributor), William S. Burroughs, Jr. (Contributor)32 more, Neal Cassady (Contributor), Gregory Corso (Contributor), Diane DiPrima (Contributor), Bob Dylan (Contributor), William Everson (Contributor), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Contributor), Brenda Frazer (Contributor), Allen Ginsberg (Contributor), Brion Gysin (Contributor), John Clellon Homles (Contributor), Herbert Huncke (Contributor), Joyce Johnson (Contributor), Hettie Jones (Contributor), Bob Kaufman (Contributor), Jack Kerouac (Contributor), Ken Kesey (Contributor), Tuli Kupferberg (Contributor), Philip Lamantia (Author), Norman Mailer (Contributor), Michael McClure (Contributor), Jack Micheline (Contributor), Frank O'Hara (Contributor), Peter Orlovsky (Contributor), Kenneth Rexroth (Contributor), Ed Sanders (Contributor), Gary Snyder (Contributor), Carl Solomon (Contributor), Anne Walman (Contributor), Alan W. Watts (Contributor), Lew Welch (Contributor), Philip Whalen (Contributor), John Wieners (Contributor)

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1,305710,660 (4.01)15
Collection of poetry, prose and excerts from writers who were part of the "Beat Generation."

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Poets, drug addicts, criminals, alcoholics, hedonists, ne'er-do-wells, agitators, college dropouts, social revolutionaries; the Beats were the voice of the Lost Generation born (mostly) between two world wars, looking for fresh artistic outlets and ideas away from those approved by contemporary academe. They found them. ( )
  piquant00 | Oct 20, 2018 |
A really nice sampling of “beat” literature! Sort of like a greatest hits compilation! Parts 1-3 were full of writings that I love, and that were wonderful to revisit! I especially enjoyed reading the "Joan Anderson" piece! Part 4 fell pretty flat for me, as did part 6 and the appendix. But Part 5 was my joy! The writings in it gave me the feeling of the people on the periphery of the Beats - the children, lovers, spouses, etc.! I really glorify and romanticize many of the Beat authors and literature, and this section grounded me a bit, showing some of the real consequences of that lifestyle and movement. Strong stuff. And strong book! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Dec 19, 2017 |
very enjoyable but too much poetry for me. ( )
  mahallett | Jul 31, 2015 |
So you have been sitting around the house wondering what to do? Smoking some reefer and listening to jazz? Then must be just about time for you to flip through The Portable Beat Reader. It gives you a good glimpse at all the usual subjects: Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, etal...and also may give you a glimpse into some you may not have known: DiPrima, Corso, Casady. Overall you would be much better served by picking up some favorite pieces by the ones you enjoy, but half the fun in life is picking up on something you have never read before and digging it. There can be no better place for an introduction to beat writing of any sort than right here...Now go throw on your Bud Powell record and use that LP cover for something besides storing an album. Groovy ( )
  DavenportsDream | Apr 30, 2009 |
I don't know if I've fully read all the different authors in here. I just love Beat writing. What more can I say?
There's a great tribute to Neal Cassidy in here, written by Charles Bukowski. ( )
  smiler7700 | Oct 10, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charters, AnnEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baraka, AmiriContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bremser, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bukowski, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burroughs, William S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burroughs, William S., Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassady, NealContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corso, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
DiPrima, DianeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dylan, BobContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Everson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferlinghetti, LawrenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Frazer, BrendaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ginsberg, AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gysin, BrionContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Homles, John ClellonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huncke, HerbertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, JoyceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, HettieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kaufman, BobContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerouac, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kesey, KenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kupferberg, TuliContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lamantia, PhilipAuthorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mailer, NormanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McClure, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Micheline, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Hara, FrankContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Orlovsky, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rexroth, KennethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sanders, EdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Snyder, GaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Solomon, CarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walman, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Watts, Alan W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welch, LewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whalen, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wieners, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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We were so many,
We were working as one,
We were miles of moiling wheat
In a sizzling summer's heat.
But now we are scattered
And flung far apart,
But you and I still live as one
Through coals in the heart.
And if anything is left
Of the coal in the soul,
Oh, flash it to me.

--Ed Sanders, "Keeping the Issues Alive" (Song)


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[Introduction] Earlier in the history of American literature, the novelist Henry James acknowledged in his biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne that "the best things come, as a general thing, from the talents that are members of a group; every man works better when he has companions working in the same line, and yielding the stimulus of suggestion, comparison, emulation."
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.
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Collection of poetry, prose and excerts from writers who were part of the "Beat Generation."

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