Various Writing Styles in The Portable Beat Reader

Various
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Point of View

The overwhelming majority of the time, the authors in this book employ a first person point of view. The Beats prefer first person autobiographical stories to third person or fiction because they believe it to be truer as the one source of authoritative knowledge they have is their own experiences. However, though the stories are autobiographical, the authors typically invent fictional names for the characters, often for legal reasons. One of the major exceptions to the first person rule is John Clellon Holmes' "Go." Holmes employs third person in his book providing emotional distance from the work for both the reader and author. Holmes writes in an essay at the end of the book that he does not believe "Go" is as much a Beat Generation manifesto as his attempt to work through his own shortcomings, literary and otherwise, and this explains why Holmes' work is...

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This section contains 891 words
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