Beat Movement Essay

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In the following essay, Prothero examines spirituality and religion within the Beat movement. 

For the beat generation of the 1940s and 1950s, dissertation time is here. Magazine and newspaper critics have gotten in their jabs. Now scholars are starting to analyze the literature and legacy of the beat writers. In the last few years biographers have lined up to interpret the lives of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs, and publishers have rushed into print a host of beat journals, letters, memoirs, and anthologies. The most recent Dictionary of Literary Biography devotes two large volumes to sixty-seven beat writers, including Neal Cassady, Herbert Huncke, Gary Snyder, Gregory Corso, John Clellon Holmes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Philip Lamantia, Peter Orlovsky, Michael McClure, and Philip Whalen.

Historical writing on relatively recent subjects tends to get bogged down in issues raised by early critics, and recent scholarship on the beat generation is...

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This section contains 953 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beat Movement Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Beat Movement from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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