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World Beats

Beat Generation Writing and the Worlding of U.S. Literature

This fascinating book explores Beat Generation writing from a transnational perspective, using the concept of worlding to place Beat literature in conversation with a far-reaching network of cultural and political formations. Countering the charge that the Beats abroad were at best naïve tourists seeking exoticism for exoticism’s sake, World Beats finds that these writers propelled a highly politicized agenda that sought to use the tools of the earlier avant-garde to undermine Cold War and postcolonial ideologies and offer a new vision of engaged literature. With fresh interpretations of central Beat authors Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs—as well as usually marginalized writers like Philip Lamantia, Ted Joans, and Brion Gysin—World Beats moves beyond national, continental, or hemispheric frames to show that embedded within Beat writing is an essential universality that brought America to the world and the world to American literature. This book presents an original treatment that will attract a broad spectrum of scholars.

272 pages | 6 x 9

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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“Fazzino does a fine job of bringing Beat literature out of its hagiographical comfort zone, and up-to-date with current academic debate. It is refreshing to read Burroughs in relation to Wai Chee Dimock on “deep time,” for example.”

L'Esprint Createur

Table of Contents

Introduction: Worlding the Beats • A World, a Sweet Attention: Jack Kerouac’s Subterranean Itineraries • The Beat Manifesto: Avant-Garde Poetics, Black Power, and the Worlded Circuits of African American Beat Writing • A Multilayered Inspiration: Philip Lamantia, Beat Poet • Cut-Ups and Composite Cities: The Latin American Origins of Naked Lunch • For Africa . . . for the World: Brion Gysin and the Postcolonial Beat Novel • Columbus Avenue Revisited: Maxine Hong Kingston and the Post-Beat Canon • Notes • Bibliography • Credits • Index

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