Archives For Beat Generation


The Philosophy of the BeatsA Long, Strange Road Trip

Feature Review of

The Philosophy of the Beats

Edited by Sharin Elkholy

Hardback: University Press of Kentucky, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by R. Dean Hudgens.

With the release this summer of a film version of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (directed by the phenomenal Walter Salles), as well as the publication of the first issue of the The Beat Studies Journal (May 2012) we are apparently in the midst of a revival of interest in the so-called “beat generation”. Was there a “beat generation”? Allen Ginsberg said no, there was only a bunch of writers trying to get published. To Jack Kerouac the beat generation were those “who really know where we are.”

When one former Beat poet was told of a new book entitled The Philosophy of the Beats she asked “Did the Beats have a philosophy?” Well, yes, but only if the word “philosophy” is interpreted in the broad, non-technical sense utilized in this University Press of Kentucky series The Philosophy of Popular Culture (edited by Mark T Conard). As far as I can tell this is the only volume in that series of twenty-five that is not focused on film, television, or sports.

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In the church, in life, one cannot dismiss a person for being less formally educated, nor can naivety be cause for scorn. For those reasons, the novel would be a decent read for those who want to think about and be challenged about the roles of theoretical education and practical application in the church. However, The Sea is My Brother would not be a good introduction to Jack Kerouac and his writing style.

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“Here’s a Life… A Poured Out Cup”

A Review of

Ti Jean: Hearts Crossing the Center Line.
By Bill Mallonee

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

[ In this online issue, we bring you a change of pace:
reviews of two recent literary-themed albums.
This is one of them and
Natalie Merchant’s Leave Your Sleep
is the other… ]

Ti Jean - Bill MalloneeTi Jean:
Hearts Crossing the Center Line.

Bill Mallonee.
Digital Album.
Support the artist,
Download the full album
for only $5.50
(also streaming on the same page
for your listening pleasure…)

I have been listening to the music of Bill Mallonee, and his early incarnations in the band The Vigilantes of Love, for almost twenty years now.  Following in the faith-haunted footsteps of the Southern Gothic writers like Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, Mallonee’s work has consistently mixed masterful storytelling with a deep, dark sense of our human brokenness and a glimmer of hope in the even deeper graces of God. For many years, he was – and probably still is – my favorite songwriter, but being in a state of life where I don’t listen to much music, and buy even less, I haven’t really kept up with his music for over five years.  (Of course, I suspect even the most ardent music fans would struggle to keep up with Mallonee’s prolific work, accelerated it seems by economic woes to a frenetic pace of releasing four or five albums a year for the last few years).  However, when I got wind that he had released an album of songs inspired by the life and work of Jack Kerouac earlier this year, I knew that this would be an album that I would need to own.

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