Êtes-vous Beat? Contemporary French Beat Writing

Authored by: Peggy Pacini

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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From June to October 2016, the Centre Pompidou in Paris staged the “Beat Generation: New York, San Francisco, Paris” exhibition, reaffirming France’s close connections with the movement, its poets, the cultural, literary and spiritual beliefs they espoused and passed on, and the breakthroughs they heralded. Curated by Philippe Alain Michaud and the multifaceted artist and friend of the Beats Jean-Jacques Lebel (1936–), the exhibition spotlighted the “Beat constellation.” Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs as “Beat nebula” necessarily featured, with slightly less attention given to Corso, Ferlinghetti, Di Prima, McClure, Jones/Baraka, LaVigne, Whalen, Orlovsky, Kaufman, Lamantia, Kyger, and Snyder. Other artists and writers associated with the Beats, among them Gysin, Sommerville, Rice, Rivers, Norse, Sanders, Patchen, Meltzer, Berman, and Conner, also won their recognition. Yet, there was hardly space left in the exhibition for the French writers connected to the Beats, except for a couple of Lebel’s collages and his several recorded interviews with Allen Ginsberg.

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