World Beats explores Beat Generation writing from a transnational perspective, using the concept of worlding to place Beat literature in conversation with a far-reaching network of cultural and political formations. Countering the charge that the Beats abroad were at best na´ve tourists seeking exoticism for exoticism's sake, Fazzino finds that these writers propelled a highly politicized agenda that sought to use the tools of the earlier avant-garde to undermine Cold War and postcolonial ideologies and offer a new vision of engaged literature. With fresh interpretations of central Beat authors Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs--as well as usually marginalized writers like Philip Lamantia, Ted Joans, and Brion Gysin--World Beats moves beyond national, continental, or hemispheric frames to show that embedded within Beat writing is an essential universality that brought America to the world and the world to American literature.
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JIMMY FAZZINO is a lecturer in the literature department and writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.Review:
“Jimmy Fazzino has written a provocative book that brings the Beat writers into discussions of global U.S. literary studies. He makes a compelling case that we understand the subterranean connections, transnational itineraries, and poetic aspirations of both major and minor figures of the Beat generation as a worldliness that in turn reorients critical understanding of midcentury U.S. literature.” (Brian T. Edwards, author of After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East)
“Theoretically sophisticated and critically informed, World Beats is a rich work of erudition and also a passionate engagement with cultural history that sets a new standard for transnational readings of Beat writings.” (Oliver Harris, professor of American literature at Keele University and president of the European Beat Studies Network)
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