The Beat Vision: A Primary Sourcebook

Arthur Knight, Editor, Kit Knight, Editor, Kit Knight, Photographer Paragon House Publishers $12.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-913729-41-0
The editors of The Beat Diary here assemble another collection of writings by and interviews with Beat writers of the 1950s and 1960s. Readers will react to the anthology as they react to the movement itself. The Knights consider the Beat era ""the only serious literary movement indigenous to this country.'' Amiri Baraka, on the other hand, views it as a response to a reactionary period characterized by ``Eisenhower blandness,'' while Pierre Delatre sees it as insignificant, without ``a single piece that holds up as great literature.'' In this volume, although there are entries by Jack Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, there is no impressive work. Elements of Beat lifethe romanticism, the desire to shock the bourgeoisie, the emphasis on drugs and homosexuality, and the closeness of the artistscome through, but in the main the anthology calls to mind Truman Capote's quip about Kerouac's work: ``That's not writing; that's typing.'' (December 12)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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