Tuesday 30 July 2013

Reading list for AMER30792 Beat Writing

Beat Writing  AMER30792

Semester 2


During the course you will need to get copies of the following books. There will be copies available at Blackwell’s but you will also find cheap second hand copies at amazon, and


Burroughs, William.  Junky  (London: Penguin Classics, 2008). Get the definitive version edited by Oliver Harris.


Charters, Ann ed. The Portable Beat Reader (NY & London: Penguin, 2006).


Kerouac, Jack. On the Road (London: Penguin Classics, new ed. 2000)


Kerouac, Jack. Mexico City Blues (New York: Grove Press, 2000).


There will be a comprehensive reading list available in January, along with a reading pack of critical essays and excerpts from Beat writers & a detailed week-by-week schedule.


If you want to read around before the course (which I strongly recommend), here are some books to get you started. (Copies are in the library).


General Works on Beat Writing and the 1950s and 1960s. This section includes work on the Cold War climate of the 1950s, criticism on poetry and the Beats and film.

As a good starting point, you might want to read James Campbell’s This is the Beat Generation and the Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters.


Allen, Donald & Warren Tallman. The Poetics of the New American Poetry (New

            York: Grove Press, 1973)

Ash, Mel. Beat Spirit: The Way of the Beat Writers as a Living Experience (New

            York: Penguin Putnam, 1997).

Bartlett, Lee. The Beats: Essays in Criticism (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1981).

Beckett, Larry. Beat Poets (Temple: Beatdom Press, 2012). Useful analysis of

            major beat poetry.

Campbell, James This is the Beat Generation (London: Vintage, 2000).

Charters, Ann ed. The Portable Beat Reader (NY & London: Penguin, 2006).

Charters, Ann. Beat Down to Your Soul: What Was the Beat Generation? (New York

            & London: Penguin, 2001).

Cook, Bruce The Beat Generation: The tumultuous '50s movement and its impact on

            today (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971). 

Corber, Robert. In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and the

            Political Construction of Gender in Post-War America (Durham: Duke

            University Press, 1993).

------. Homosexuality in the Cold War: Resistance and the Crisis of Masculnity

            (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997)

Damon, Maria. “Victors of Catastrophe: Beat Occlusions.” In Beat Culture and the

            New America, 1950-1965, ed. Lisa Phillips (New York: Whitney Museum of

            American Art, 1995).

Davidson, Michael. The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at

            Mid-century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989).

Duval, Jean Francois, Bukowski and the Beats (Northville, Mich: Sun Dog Press


Eburne, Jonathan Paul. “Trafficking in the Void: Burroughs, Kerouac, and the

            Consumption of Othernesss.” Modern Fiction Studies 43.1 (Spring): 53-92.

Edwards, Brian. Morocco Bound: Disorienting America’s Maghreb from

            Casablanca to the Marrakech Express (Durham, N.C. & London: Duke

            Univeristy Press, 2005).

Feldman, Gene and Max Gartendberg, ed. The Beat Generation and the Angry

            Young Men (New York: Citadel, 1958)

Foster, Edward Halsey. Understanding the Beats (Columbia: University of Southern

            California Press, 1992).

French, Warren. The San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, 1955-1960 (Boston:

            Twayne, 1991).

Hemmer, Kurt ed. Encyclopedia of Beat Literature (New York: Facts on File, 2006).

Jackson, Carl. The Counterculture Looks East: Beat Writers and Asian Religion.

            American Studies 29.1 (Spring 1988): 51-70.

Johnston, Allan. “Consumption, Addiction, Vision, Energy: Political Economies and    Utopian Visions in the Writings of the Beat Generation.” College Literature             32.2 (Spring 2005): 103-126.

Kaufman, Bob. The Ancient Rain: Poems, 1956-1978 (New York: New Directions,


Knight, Arthur and Kit Knight, ed. The Beat Vision: A Primary Sourcebook (New

            York: Paragon House, 1987).

Lee, A. Robert, ed. The Beat Generation Writers (London: Pluto, 1996).

McDarrah, Fred W. and Gloria S. McDarrah. Beat Generation: Glory Days in

            Greenwich Village (London: Schirmer Books September 1996).

Medovoi, Leerom. Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity (Durham:

            Duke University Press, 2005).

Miles, Barry, The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Corso in Paris, 1958-1963

            (London: Grove Press, 2000).

Moody, Rick and George Plimpton, Beat Writers at Work (New York: Modern

            Library, 1998)

Morgan, William, The Typewriter is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the

            Beat Generation (Berkeley, Cal: Counter Point, 2010)

Norse, Harold, Memoirs of a Bastard Angel (New York: William Morris & Co., 1989).

Peabody, Richard. A Different Beat: Writing by Women of the Beat Generation

            (London: Serpent's Tail, 1997).

Polsky, Ned. Hustlers, Beats, and Others (New York: Lyons Press, 1998).

Prothero, Stephen. “On the Holy Road: The Beat Movement as Spiritual Protest.”         Harvard Theological Review 82.2 (1991): 205-22.

Sargeant, Jack. The Naked Lens: An Illustrated History of Beat Cinema (London:

            Creation Press, 1991).

Schaub, Thomas. American Fiction in the Cold War (Madison: University of

            Wisconsin Press, 1991).

Sterrit, David. Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the ‘50s, and Film (Carbondale:

            Southern Illinois University Press, 1998).

Theado, Matt. The Beats: A Documentary Volume (Detroit and London: Gale Group,


Tytello, John. Naked Angeles: The Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation (New

            York: McGraw-Hill, 1976).

Watson, Steven. The Birth of the Beat Generation: Visionaries, Rebels, and Hipsters,

            1944-1960 (New York: Pantheon, 1998). Has superb map of the travels in On

            the Road


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