The Truth Behind David Kammerer’s Murder

david kammerer murderIt was because of Lucien Carr that Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs met and became friends. It was also because of Carr that Kerouac and Burroughs became material witnesses in a bizarre murder case. (Kill Your Darlings (2013))

In 1944, Allen Ginsberg met Lucien Carr at Columbia University. Carr was friends with Edie Parker, Jack Kerouac’s girlfriend at the time and it was by his suggestion that Ginsberg meet Kerouac. Carr, who grew up in St. Louis, also knew William S. Burroughs and this connection completed the formation of the famous Beat Trio.

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Documentaries About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac documentariesJack Kerouac was the major figure in a movement that would redefine American literature and social norms. He spent much of the 40s and 50s traveling the United States and Mexico on a journey to discover life outside of the mainstream American values. He is credited with coining the phrase ‘Beat Generation.’

While it’s not always easy to find old footage of Kerouac and the Beat writers, here is a list of some of the best Jack Kerouac documentaries about the famous writer and the countercultural movement he started.

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Documentaries About the Beat Generation

beat generation documentariesSince the Beat Generation refers to a group of writers who were making history over half a century ago, it may be a little difficult to find video footage of them. But here is a list of some of the Beat Generation documentaries that best capture the counter-cultural phenomenon and the people that were involved.

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Important Women Writers of the Beat Generation

women writers of the beat generationWith the rise of the Beat movement and writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, women writers of the Beat Generation were often overlooked and ridiculed. But, in the conformist 50s, there was a group of women fighting against the constraints of family and culture as independent writers and artists. They wanted to step out from the shadow of men and share with society their individuality and talents.

As Brenda Knight wrote in Women of the Beat Generation, “In many ways, women of the Beat were cut from the same cloth as the men: fearless, angry, high risk, too smart, restless, highly irregular. They took chances, made mistakes, made poetry, made love, made history.”

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The San Francisco Beat Writers

San Francisco Beat WritersWhile it is said that Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Neal Cassady are the original Beat writers, there are a number of other key figures that would cause the movement to explode across the nation.

Kerouac and the Beats spent a lot of their time bouncing around the States, between New York and San Francisco. While on the west coast, they met a few other poets who were making waves and bonds were quickly formed.

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The Beat Generation in New York

Beat Generation in New YorkIn the mid 1940s, a group of writers came together in New York City. Hanging around Times Square, writing about drugs, homosexuality and alternative forms of spirituality, these artists pushed the limits of what was socially acceptable in the conformist 40s and 50s.

They were the friends, inspirations and muses to great writers like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, and they helped forge a countercultural movement that would become know as The Beat Generation.

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The Women Behind the Beat Writers

omen beat writersAlthough the Beat Generation was most famously known for its male writers, artists and poets, there was also a group of women who played a major part in the movement and the lives of great men like Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady.

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The Original Beat Writers

beat writersIn the mid 1940s, a group of writers that would spawn one of the biggest cultural movements of the 20th century came together in New York City. Writing about drugs, homosexuality and alternative forms of spirituality, these Beat writers pushed the limits of what was socially acceptable in the conformist 40s and 50s.

The core group of these influential writers were Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs.

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Book Review: On the Road

on the road reviewThere is a passage in the first few pages of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road that perfectly sets the tone for the autobiographical story and sums up Kerouac’s life. He wrote,

the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

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Book Review: Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

chuck palahniuk's survivorBest known for the cynical and ironic dark humor that appears throughout his work, Chuck Palahniuk has been dubbed a “shock writer” by the media. His writing style, which he refers to as a minimalistic approach, has been influenced by and compared to such authors as Amy Hempel, Bret Easton Ellis, Irvine Welsh, Kurt Vonnegut and Tom Spanbauer.

Following the success of Fight Club, Palahniuk continues to shock and entertain his audience with stories so out there, so surreal, so disturbing that they can only be described as pure Palahniuk. Survivor is the perfect example of why there exists such a widely devoted and popular cult following for the controversial writer.

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Might As Well Jump: Skydiving in Mexico

skydiving in mexico

I’m at 10,000 feet and the only thing separating the ocean from the sky is a few clouds.

It’s amazing how clear everything is up here. A world of blue, every shade but all the same. I can see the beach, where five of my closest friends are waiting for me, and where the water meets the land. I can see the ocean floor there, but soon the water is too deep and too dark, endless. I strain to find the horizon, but it doesn’t exist.

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