The Beat Presence in Mexican Literature

Authored by: Alberto Escobar de la Garma

The Routledge Handbook of International Beat Literature

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9780415785457
eBook ISBN: 9781315210278
Adobe ISBN:


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Mexico, legendarily, has long been Beat terrain. Whether for simple adventuring, to escape from North American conformity, or to seek drugs and sex, the culture has been a magnet. Burroughs, Kerouac, and Ginsberg, not to mention Bonnie Bremser/Brenda Frazer, all feature. In this regard Mexico takes on near mythic standing: a seemingly magical domain from Tijuana to Mexico City to San Cristóbal de las Casas, where nature and indigenous and Euro-hispanic legacies mix. Not only the Beats, but a considerably wide range of authors have so been drawn to the country, notable among them Antonin Artaud, D. H. Lawrence, André Breton, and Malcolm Lowry. Few of the Beats, however, found Mexico to exert readier appeal than Jack Kerouac, his interests at once ongoing and considerable, and rarely more exuberantly expressed than in On the Road (1957) and Mexico City Blues (1959). Kerouac, like other Beats, and even if at times he was prone to idealize the culture, provides a link with the body of Mexican writing which might be considered Beat.

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