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The Beats in Mexico

The Beats in Mexico

By David Stephen Calonne



Mexico features prominently in the literature and personal legends of the Beat writers, from its depiction as an extension of the American frontier in Jack Kerouac's On the Road to its role as a refuge for writers with criminal pasts like William S. Burroughs. Yet the story of Beat literature and Mexico takes us beyond the movement's superstars to consider the important roles played by lesser-known female Beat writers. The first book-length study of why the Beats were so fascinated by Mexico and how they represented its culture in their work, this volume examines such canonical figures as Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Lamnatia, McClure, and Ferlinghetti. It also devotes individual chapters to women such as Margaret Randall, Bonnie Bremser, and Joanne Kyger, who each made Mexico a central setting of their work and interrogated the misogyny they encountered in both American and Mexican culture. The Beats in Mexico not only considers individual Beat writers, but also places them within a larger history of countercultural figures, from D.H. Lawrence to Antonin Artaud to Jim Morrison, who mythologized Mexico as the land of the Aztecs and Mayans, where shamanism and psychotropic drugs could take you on a trip far beyond the limits of the American imagination.

ISBN: 9781978828728


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