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The French Genealogy of the Beat Generation


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Table of Contents

List of Figures Acknowledgments Introduction: Beyond "Rimbaud in a raincoat" 1. Burroughs or Kerouac's Rimbaud: To Be or Not To Be "L I T E R A R Y" 2. French Poetic Realist Film in Kerouac's Unknown Bookmovie 3. Kerouac's Humanism: From Celine and Dostoevsky to Proust 4. Burroughs' Queer Aesthetics: From Gide to Cocteau 5. Looking Back on Ginsberg's "Howl" from "Apollinaire's Grave" 6. The Pitfalls of Open Secrecy: "Has Nobody Noticed" St.-John Perse? 7. Burroughs' (Anti)humanism: Saint Genet and the Last Lifeboat 8. Burroughs, Michaux, and the Future of Literature Conclusion: A Purloined Genealogy Bibliography Notes Index

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The first critical study of the key role that modern French literature played in the formation and development of the oeuvres of the major American Beat writers in the mid-20th century.

About the Author

Veronique Lane is Teaching Associate in French Studies at Lancaster University, UK. She has taught French critical thought on the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris, France, and has been Assistant Professor of French at Wesleyan University, USA, as well as Postdoctoral Fellow in the Research Institute for the Humanities at Keele University, UK. She has a PhD on Artaud and Genet from the Universite Paris Diderot - Paris VII.


Lane's groundbreaking study ... Replete with original and perceptive comparative close readings ... will appeal to French as well as Beat literature specialists. * French Studies *
Veronique Lane's The French Genealogy of the Beat Generation fills an important and often unacknowledged gap in the study of these seemingly echt-American rebels. The Beats' literary Frenchness is more than an artifact of their time-it is a key to their literary values and a measure of the tradition of literary revolt that spread from 19th-century France across continents and centuries. Lane elucidates the connections with wit, grace, and style. * Luc Sante, Visiting Professor of Writing and the History of Photography, Bard College, USA, and author of The Other Paris (2015) *
Lane has written a pearl of a book, illuminating a central aspect of Beat literature that's long been obscure. * Ann Charters, Professor of American Literature, University of Connecticut, USA *
This timely and informative book establishes the importance of French writers for the Beat generation of writers so effortlessly and convincingly that one can only wonder why it has never been done before. Deploying an intimate grasp of the works of Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac based on detailed textual analysis, this ambitious study is sure to be a reference-point for many years to come. * Mairead Hanrahan, Professor and Chair of French, University College London, UK *
Veronique Lane's informed close readings succeed in showing that French Modernity was much more than a mere influence for the major Beat authors. While clarifying their relations to the works of Rimbaud, of Cocteau, but also of Saint-John Perse and Michaux or the cinema of Carne, this study revives in unexpected ways the poetic project, embraced by both the American and French traditions it investigates, of changing our idea of mankind. A book that ought to be read on both sides of the Atlantic. * Dominique Rabate, Professor of 20th Century French Literature, Universite Paris Diderot - Paris VII, France *

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