Whether you’re a writer, a student of literature or just a really big fan of books – at some point you would have come across or heard of The Beat Generation. If you haven’t, then you should definitely read this article.
To put it simply, The Beat Generation consisted of a bunch of eccentric guys from America in the 1950s that wrote some pretty talented literature. Although many authors have been associated with the group, the most well known members are Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. These writers wrote some of the most talked about Beat literature today. Examples are Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl”, Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” and William Burrough’s “The Naked Lunch”. Through their works of arts and favouritism for Post-Modern, autobiographical and off-the-wall approach to writing, their unique voices spoke loudly in America and became an individual group of its own (The Beat Generation). People who wrote or read Beat literature fitted well as the odd-balls or outcasts. These people were rebellious, supported the Hippie culture that came later and it is no secret that these writers fuelled experiments with drug use to guide their writing. You could say that these guys were responsible for pushing conservative boundaries into liberal ways of being, and from their crafted words a generation of independent, out-spoken and art-thirsty citizens were born. They rejected materialism. Explored the human condition in ways no one else did and experimented with sexual liberation. They were called the “Bohemian Hedonists”.
However, that was sixty years ago. As influential and as studied as the Beat Generation are, most of these writers aren’t here today and there has been no more Beat literature released. The 20th century had their own generation of writers, but what about the 21st? Of course, we can mention names like J.K Rowling, John Green, Stephanie Mayer who are perhaps more linked with contemporary fiction. But we cannot identify or pinpoint a collective group of authors that are changing and shaping our culture in the literature world right now. The way the world is in 2016, there are more opportunities and individuals than there ever were before – but perhaps this limits the existence of minorities. Because everyone is so free, subjects are more discussed and talked about, writers have become individuals rather than teams that can work together to become a household name. There are so many Political debates happening now, that crafting a group of passionate writers could be a beautiful way of expressing opinions and feelings on these matters and thus changing or inspiring the minds of whoever is listening. One voice is loud, but group of voices spoken together is even louder.
It’s 2016 and we need a team. We need a brand new “Beat Generation”, a bunch of book-nerds that can come together and be known as something inspiring for the writers of the 21st century.
So to any writers reading this – you could be the first member.