The history of literature has been “landmarked” by countless movements of varying styles and direction. The Beat Page is dedicated to the movement that began in the early 1950’s with a small and tightly connected group of young writers who demonstrated a care-free, often wreckless and unquestionably fresh approach to literature as well as a demonstrative social stance toward what was sometimes referred to as “The Establishment”. The term “Beat” was reportedly coined by Jack Kerouac in the late 1940’s, but became more common at about the time that writers like himself, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti were beginning to get noticed. It was quickly becoming a slang term in America after World War II, meaning “exhausted” or “beat down” and provided this generation with a definitive label for their personal and social positions and perspectives.
I’ve been facinated by the beat generation for years now. It’s such an overlooked and important part of literary and social history that we all need to learn about. These men and women were fantastic writers and poets that shaped so many positive aspects of our world. Eastern philosophies and religions would not be as prominent in North America as they are today if not for these revolutionary thinkers.
We need new literary vision. Print media as art is dying in the popular mind, and that trend must be broken. Words and literacy are essential to a quality life and stong societies.
It’s time to either discard our generation and its vast shallowness, or reinvent it from the inside. Either way change must take place. Too much beauty and compassion are being lost.
[Music: Strawberry – In 2 or 3]