144 6 The beat generation: 1956–1970 This chapter spans the interval between two landmark years in the MU’s history, arguing that the intervening period marked a time of relative stability within the Union while the music profession, music industries, and broadcasting were all subject to a further series of major changes. At the same time, the Union began to reap the benefits of the considerable advances it had made in the post-war years but found itself increasingly adrift from the changing nature of its constituency. Bookending the period were a number of
This article explores the reception and transformation of William Blake’s countercultural legacy by focusing on the neo-Romantic resurgences within maelstrÖm reEvolution, an experimental performance and arts collective based in Brussels but with heavy transnational affiliations. In relation to the company’s neo-shamanic and therapeutic conception of poiesis, Blake is an inspirational figure amongst a broader family of mentors ranging from Beat Generation writers to Arthur Rimbaud and Alexandro Jodorowsky. The Blake–maelstrÖm connection is here examined for the first time. Blending classical reception studies with a broader interest in the intersections between poiesis and the ‘sacred’, this article approaches countercultural Blake as the archetypal embodiment of the shamanic poet. More specifically, it reflects on how, as the poet of ‘double-edged madness’ and ‘Spiritual Strife’, Blake’s subversion of alienation into ecstasy feeds maelstrÖm’s own ‘therapoetic’ experimentalism and psycho-aesthetic endeavours to restore the lines of communication between the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.
corrective to the social hierarchy of ‘structure’. Kerouac himself articulates this possibility in his article, ‘About the Beat Generation’ (1957). There he begins by explaining that the word ‘beat’ [sic] was used by Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes and himself in the later 1940s to designate ‘a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters, suddenly rising, roaming America, serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way’. In this light he can offer the following cryptic definition: ‘beat, meaning down and out but
in our chosen period. ***** Despite half a century of commentary on the Beat movement, there is still a good deal of confusion over the meaning of the word ‘Beat’. It is generally acknowledged that it refers to the ‘beat’ of bebop music, admired so much by the Beat generation. Again, most commentators know that it can also refer to the condition of being ‘dead beat’ or ‘beat down’, as used by Herbert Huncke, the New York vagrant adopted as a role model by the young Beats in the mid-1940s: ‘Man, I’m beat.’2 But there is a third meaning which is too often overlooked
everything from Levi 501 jeans to spot cream. Proclamations were frequently made in the 1980s about the end of youth culture, the death of rock culture and the new conservative (and Conservative) conformism of youth. Adulthood was in; so, too, were flaunting material success, postmodernism and the enterprise culture. Radicalism, rebellion and resistance were confined to the dustbin of history. They were replaced by Style Culture, looking good and feeling healthy. The music became safe along with the culture –background sounds to make love or money to. From the beat
Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity.
This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.
stories published at the start of the following decade, ‘Entropy’, as ‘as close to a Beat story as anything I was writing then’ (SL 7, 14). In addition, the year before Slow Learner appeared, Pynchon had provided the introduction to a reprint of Richard Fariña’s 1966 novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me, a book that reads now as both a late addition to the Beat generation canon and, in its playful surrealism, an example of the kind of postmodern sensibility that Pynchon himself was developing at the time. It is that very sensibility, however, that ensures that
Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain explores the relationship between classic American films about juvenile delinquency and British popular youth culture in the mid-twentieth century. The book examines the censorship, publicity and fandom surrounding such Hollywood films as The Wild One, Blackboard Jungle, Rebel Without a Cause, Rock Around the Clock and Jailhouse Rock alongside such British films as The Blue Lamp, Spare the Rod and Serious Charge. Intersecting with star studies and social and cultural history, this is the first book to re-vision the stardom surrounding three extraordinarily influential Hollywood stars: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. By looking specifically at the meanings of these American stars to British fans, this analysis provides a logical and sustained narrative that explains how and why these Hollywood images fed into, and disrupted, British cultural life. Screening the Hollywood Rebels in 1950s Britain is based upon a wide range of sources including censorship records, both mainstream and trade newspapers and periodicals, archival accounts and memoirs, as well as the films themselves. The book is a timely intervention of film culture and focuses on key questions about screen violence and censorship, masculinity and transnational stardom, method acting and performance, Americanisation and popular post-war British culture. The book is essential reading for researchers, academics and students of film and social and cultural history, alongside general readers interested in the links between the media and popular youth culture in the 1950s.
Upanishads. The significance of this moment should not be underestimated: Kerouac’s reading of Walden, and later of Buddhist teachings, clearly marked a new era in his life, but it also marked a new era in the life of the nation, since Kerouac’s awakening to Buddhism stirred similar searches in other members of the Beat Generation, and in the hippies of the sixties, thus helping to bend postwar counterculture eastward. Just as Kerouac, in a mood of desolation over a lost love and a large pile of unpublished manuscripts, had turned to Thoreau and to Buddhist texts, many
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.