By Preston Whaley Jr.
Reopening the canons of the Beat iteration, Blows Like a Horn strains the artistic counterculture flow because it cooked within the warmth of Bay quarter streets and exploded into spectacles, similar to the scandal of the Howl trial and the popular culture shaggy dog story of beatnik caricatures.
Preston Whaley indicates Beat artists driving the smooth exteriors of overdue modernism like a wave. members equivalent to Lawrence Lipton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and at nice own price, even Jack Kerouac, defied the normal delight of avant-garde anonymity. They have been formidable to alter the tradition and used mass-mediated scandal, reputation, and distortion to draw figuring out shoppers to their poetry and prose.
Blows Like a Horn follows the Beats as they tweaked the amount of excluded American voices. It watches vernacular energies marching via Beat texts on their migration from shadowy city corners and rural backwoods to a fertile, new hyper-reality, the place they warped into stereotypes. a few audiences have been fooled. Others chanced on truths and have been replaced.
Mirroring the song of the period, the publication breaks new flooring in exhibiting how jazz, even more than an ambient soundtrack, formed the very buildings of Beat paintings and social lifestyles. Jazz, an American hybrid--shot via with an earned-in-the-woodshed, African American sort of spontaneous intelligence--also gave Beat poetry its pace and aura.
Blows Like a Horn plumbs the activities and the artwork of celebrated and arcane Beat writers, from Allen Ginsberg to ruth weiss. The poetry, the song, the style--all of those helped remodel U.S. tradition in ways in which are nonetheless with us.
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Additional info for Blows Like a Horn: Beat Writing, Jazz, Style, and Markets in the Transformation of U.S. Culture
The Beat writers they criticize revered learning and admired scholars such as Mark Van Doran and Lionel Trilling. The Beats were keen to influences from Euro-American and international traditions. For example, in his 1956 letter about “Howl” to Richard Eberhart, Ginsberg associates influential colleagues with literary forebears or scholarship: Robert Duncan “dug [William Carlos] Williams, Stein . . Charles Olsen; Gary Snyder, a Zen Buddhist poet and Chinese scholar; Jack Kerouac . . is the Colossus .
My poems, ‘Dog’ and other poems from A Coney Island of the Mind . . ”16 The response to the legal problems of Howl began before THE HORN O F FA M E 21 Ferlinghetti and Murao were arrested on May 29. It began when customs agents seized the last shipment of the first edition on March 25. Sales of the book, helped by the early press discussed above, were good but modest; the first edition numbered 1,500 copies. 17 Ginsberg, in Tangier with William Burroughs at the time, responded on April 3 to a letter from Ferlinghetti: Was surprised by news of Customs seizure .
23 The conclusion of the trial prompted more publicity and commentary about the San Francisco scene and especially the Beats. In the midst of the frenzied media spin, Kerouac penned Dharma Bums in late 1957. ” It THE HORN O F FA M E 25 includes all of the basic elements of the 6 Gallery story as it has been conveyed throughout its genealogy—the five readers: Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and following the pattern of the Eberhart article, an extended description of “the most brilliant shock of the evening .