Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bill Morgan's City Lights Pocket Guides (The Beats Abroad)



Bill Morgan's indispensible series of Beat pocket-guides (see our note here on the previous Beat Atlas) have always been a unique and invaluable resource. City Lights has just this past month gifted us with a fourth (title)  The Beats Abroad - A Global Guide to the Beat Generation 

From the City Lights promo': 

"In The Beats Abroad, renowned Beat scholar Bill Morgan documents that international phase of the Beat Generation's story. He delves deep into epicenters like Paris, Tangier, and Mexico City, and tracks down more remote locales from Siberia to Columbia. Entries contain specific addresses for the globetrotting reader to visit on every continent, and are loaded with fascinating stories that illuminate the lives and works of Ginsberg, Burroughs, Corso, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, and others…"

Each of the volumes is a treasure-trove of Bill's encyclopedic Beat lore (Beat location), boiled down, accurately (and lovingly) notated.

As he has previously observed:

"They" (the Beat writers) "always wrote about what they were experiencing…When the Beats went places, that's what they wrote about…When (Jack) Kerouac went to Saint Patrick's Cathedral (in New York City) for example, he wrote about that and you can go there and the curtains that are in one of the little chapels in Saint Patrick's are the same curtains as he describes in his writing fifty years ago. As far as travel writing, there's nothing better. And almost all of the Beats were that way, writing about what they saw."

This new volume, fittingly, widens the scope, stressing (as the major Beat show upcoming this summer at Paris' Pompidou Center promises to) the Beats undeniable internationalism)

The Beats Abroad (2016), Beat Atlas (2011), The Beat Generation in San Francisco (2003), and the original, The Beat Generation in New York (1997) 




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