John Clellon Holmes: This Is the Beat Generation (1250 words)


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John Clellon Holmes’s essay “This Is the Beat Generation” is credited with introducing the public to that term when it appeared in the Sunday edition of the New York Times on November 16, 1952. The twenty-six-year-old Holmes had just published his first novel, Go—widely regarded as the first “beat” novel—when he was commissioned by the Times to contribute an article describing the new cultural phenomenon he had written about in the novel. The result is but the first of many such accounts offered by Holmes and his peers, yet the 1952 Times article retains its status as an uniquely eloquent and prescient portrait and defense of the Beat Generation.

“This Is the Beat Generation” arrives a…

Citation: Fazzino, Jimmy. "This Is the Beat Generation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 September 2011 [, accessed 24 October 2020.]

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