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In Pursuit of Experience: The Authentic Documentation of Experience in Beat Generation Literature

Cialis, Joshua (2021) In Pursuit of Experience: The Authentic Documentation of Experience in Beat Generation Literature. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90330) (KAR id:90330)

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Official URL
https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90330

Abstract

Throughout their lives the authors of The Beat Generation sought an escape from the conformity of mid-century American life, in favour of fresh thrilling experiences to influence their writing. The writers of the Beat Generation developed writing methods that authentically document their real-life experiences. Therefore, this thesis examines the documentary nature of literature that came out of this Generation. The first section of the essay explores Beat literature as memoir; arguing that Kerouac's prose is based on his own first-hand experience recollected after the event. This section also argues that due to its fast pace and lack of revision, the Spontaneous Prose Method can be used by authors as a form suited to the authentic documentation of experience.

The second chapter looks at the use of transcription methods to document a moment, or specific event, written during the experience. This chapter compares Gary Snyder's Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems, Ginsberg's 'Wichita Vortex Sutra', and Kerouac's Blues Poems as poetry that authentically portrays a moment of experience to the reader. The final chapter explores the more experimental methods of documentation, and whether any authenticity was lost to experimentation. The chapter also explores the Beat use of drugs on the content and form of the literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Hickman, Ben
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.90330
Uncontrolled keywords: Beat-Generation Kerouac Ginsberg Burroughs American-Literature
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2021 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 09:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/90330 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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