1573441880 writings that shocked America out of the 1950s. Blasting through the crew-cuts and conformism of their day, the Beat writers were queer in the fullest sense of the word: their fluid sexuality challenged all sexual and romantic conventions. Most shocking of their unconventional attitudes was their embrace of same-sex eroticism. At a time when gay people were considered mentally ill or criminal, the Beats celebrated spontaneity and freedom in thought, word, and action. Their highest value was nakedness?even before Allen Ginsberg stripped bare at a poetry reading to silence a heckler. They would try anything once, then write about it. Queer Beats: How the Beats Turned America On to Sex traces, for the first time, the queer pulse that throbs throughout the Beats' writings?from William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch and Allen Ginsberg's wistful, boy-loving sex poems to Jack Kerouac's hero-worship of Neal Cassady?and Kerouac's denial of having sex with men, despite erotic encounters with Ginsberg and Gore Vidal: "Posterity will laugh at me if it thinks I was queer." "'Queer Beats' [is] popular scholarship at its most relevant and entertaining best." ?San Francisco Chronicle. "An essential addition to the Beat oeuvre. Regina Marler's passionate and informed scholarship infuses the entire book. Queer Beats is one of those rare books that takes familiar material and is able to give the reader a fresh look at the Beats." ?Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books. "Queer Beats adds something fresh and vital to the Beat canon. Marler..has compiled a crazy quilt of queer sexual exuberance." ?Books To Watch Out For. REGINA MARLER is the author of Bloomsbury Pie: Making of the Bloomsbury Boom and the editor of Selected Letters of Vanessa Bell. She contributes to the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the New York Observer, and Advocate. She lives a Beat life in San Francisco.
Among the unconventional attitudes of the Beat writers as they rebelled against the conformism of the late 1940s and 1950s was their relaxed stance on sexuality. At a time when gay people were considered mentally ill or criminal, the Beats celebrated spontaneity and freedom in thought, word, and action. They were queer in the fullest sense of the word: their fluid sexuality challenged all sexual and romantic conventions. Combining fiction, letters, and poetry, Queer Beats explores the sexual pulse that throbbed throughout the Beats' writings - from the perverse "cut-up" prose of William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch and the homoerotic poetry of Allen Ginsberg to Jack Kerouac's letter to Neal Cassady in which he declares (despite sexual encounters with Ginsberg and Gore Vidal): "Posterity will laugh at me if it thinks I was queer." This collection also includes writings by Diane di Prima, Frank O'Hara, Herbert Huncke, Elise Cowen, Robert Duncan, and others.