The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
New York : Julian Messner, Inc., 1959. First Edition. Hardcover. 320 pages ; photographs ; 22 cm. $5.00 dust jacket with an inch of the top of the jacket spine missing and lots of tears along the edges. Bookplate and foxing on front free endpaper. Foxing to rear endpaper as well. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
The First Complete Story of the "Beats" — That Hip, Cool, Frantic Generation of New Bohemians Who Are Turning the American Scale of Values Inside Out.
THE HOLY BARBARIANS
By Lawrence Upton
Illustrated with photographs
No matter what shades of meaning are attributed to the phrase "beat generation" or what arguments rage on in the press as to whether it is a fad, a fraud, an anarchistic cult or a publicity stunt, the single fact remains that there is in America today a band of non-conformists living a kind of life very different from that of the average American. Lawrence Lipton calls them "holy barbarians"— holy in their search of Self, barbarian in their total rejection of the so-called "civilized" standards of success, morality and neurosis.
Mr. Lipton's book is the first complete and unbiased survey of the beat generation and its role in our society. Here are the intimate facts about these people and their attitudes toward sex, dope, jazz, art, religion, parents, landlords, employers, politicians, draft boards, the law and, most important, toward the "square." The author presents a picture of their way of life, their individual backgrounds, the language they have appropriated, in terms made clear for the first time to those of us who have been confused and puzzled about them. He also provides a balanced discussion of their literature, art and music, of what they produce and fail to produce in the arts they practice.
The cast of characters is large, including such name personalities as Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Stuart Perkoff, Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlin-ghetti and Dylan Thomas, as well as unknowns from all parts of the country and all walks of life.
Himself a veteran of earlier rebellions — the Chicago Near North Side and Greenwich Village — and a poet and critic who now conducts a poetry and jazz workshop in Venice, California, Mr. Lipton has a unique personal knowledge of the beat generation and a unique reason for writing about them. "They are picking up," he says, "where we— left off?—no, began. Began, and lived it, and wrote about it and waited for the world to catch up with us. I am telling their story here because it is our story too. My story."
LAWRENCE LIPTON lives on the West Coast where lie conducts a Jazz Canto Poets and Musicians Workshop devoted largely to the work of the beat generation. A "graduate" of the Chicago Near North Side circle of Ben Hecht, Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Sherwood Anderson and Harriet Monroe, Mr. Lipton's poems and essays have appeared in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Chicago Review, the Paris Review and Quarterly Review of Literature. His most recent book of poetry, RAINBOW AT MiDNiGHfpwas a Book Club for Poetry selection in 1955.
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