Language & Literature

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The Beats

7:00pm | Thursday 21 March 2013
£12 - £1 Hour 30 Minutes{related_entries id="evnt_loca"}The Beats{/related_entries}
About this Event:

“What the American flag means to me: I said ‘Soak it in heroin, Doc, & I’ll suck it!’” is an observation typical to the work of William Burroughs. The Beats – Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg and the rest – were more than a literary movement, they were a challenge, a challenge to established mores of politics, sexuality, authenticity and style.

They had more in common with jazz, new art and cinema and rock ‘n’ roll than they did with the literary establishment. The Beats were a determining influence on the young Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and the other denizens of rock. They have continued to exercise a fascination on the young ever since.

Author Barry Miles and broadcaster Anthony Wall, in conversation with the festival’s deputy chairman and film, television and theatre consultant, Graham Benson, will re-examine the legacy of the Beats and recall their encounters with some of the key players. Miles has written extensively on the subject, including biographies of Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac, has collaborated with them and was a close friend of Burroughs and Ginsberg in particular.

Wall has been editor of the BBC’s multi-award winning strand Arena for nearly 30 years. Arena has made many films about or featuring the Beats. The session will be illustrated by classic moments of film from the incomparably rich Arena archive, featuring all the leading Beat players and, uniquely, Kerouac’s idol, the great jazz eccentric Slim Gaillard.

Members of the audience will be welcomed on stage to read their own favourite pieces of Beat writing.

This event lasts 90 minutes.

Presented in association with Arena.

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