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The Daybreak Boys: Essays on the Literature of the Beat Generation Paperback – June 25, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0809329496 ISBN-10: 0809329492

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About the Author

Gregory Stephenson teaches in the Department of English at the University of Copenhagen. He has written extensively on contemporary American and English literature, including critical studies of Gregory Corso, Robert Sheckley, J.G. Ballard and Robert Stone.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press (June 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809329492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809329496
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 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: #3,664,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Gregory Stephenson's critical essays on the Beat Generation, and the individual writers associated with it, has been a volume I've often returned to, since its publication in 1990. All the major Beats - and a few others associated with them - are here - Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Wiliam S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Michael McClure, John Clellon Holmes,and Neal Cassady, as well as Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Richard Farina.

Includes an introduction, in which Stephenson explores what brought the Beat Generation about, and how they are distinguished from other writers.

The essays include:

- Circular Journey: Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend
- Allen Ginsberg's "Howl": A Reading
- The Gnostic Vision of William S. Burroughs
- Homeward from Nowhere: Notes on the Novels of John Clellon Holmes
- From the Substrate: Notes on the Work of Michael McClure
- Toward Organized Innocence: Richard Farina's "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me"
- The "Spirited Optics" of Lawrence Ferlinghetti
- Friendly and Flowing Savage: The Literary Legend of Neal Cassady

The Conclusion draws it all together, exploring the traits the very diverse Beat writers share, and which make them a unique and important force in modern American literature.

Also includes notes, a well-organized index. There's also a selected bibliography, which will provide inspiration for further reading.

This is a valuable collection of insights into the Beat Generation. Whether you're a longtime reader of the Beat writers, have yet to read any of their work, or have only dipped a toe into the vast sea of Beat writing, you'll likely find Stephenson's essays thought-provoking and impetus for your journey into Beat literature.
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The Daybreak Boys: Essays on the Literature of the Beat Generation
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