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Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence Paperback – November 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“Mortenson’s revisionist study keeps a steady eye on the historical and cultural milieu of Beat writers, drawing on critical theory, feminism, and race/ethnicity studies to explore the movement’s larger impact on U.S. culture during the Cold War. This is a brilliant contribution to cultural poetics.”

—Michael Davidson, author of Guys Like Us: Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics

About the Author

Erik Mortenson is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. He has published essays on the Beats in a number of journals and in several books. 


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st Edition edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080933013X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809330133
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,351,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Kramer on April 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Throughout the years I've read countless works by and about the Beats. I thought I understood their motivations. The beauty of this book is it helps both the casual reader and the academic re-examine the movement's focus on immediacy. Mortenson clearly knows his stuff, and while reading it I was often surprised at how much I misunderstood these writers and thinkers. Mortenson includes all the heavy-hitters as well as the more underground players. The book also helped me see the movement from a different angle I didn't expect. It's invaluable to anyone studying this important time in American history, and it's an important resource for those focusing on the cultural significance of these writers. I highly recommend it.
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Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence
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