You are on page 1of 1

The Beatnik

Generation:
Peter  Orlovsky  and  Allen  
Ginsberg  in  the  Beat  
Hotel.  Paris,  France,  
1957.  Photo  by  Harold  
Chapman.  

A literary revolution that changed the world

Brion  Gysin  and  his  
Dreammachine  Photo  
by  Harold  Chapman  

The  Beatniks  were  highly  influenOal  all  over  
Europe,  parOcularly  in  Paris,  France.  They  
had  a  strong  following  in  the  city  filled  with  
others  embracing  a  bohemian  lifestyle.  
They  meet  and  mingled  with  writers  and  
arOsts,  such  as  Brion  Gysin  who  created  his  
famous  “Dreammachine”  in  the  hotel  
where  they  all  stayed.  This  hotel  was  the  
center  of  all  the  Beat  acOvity  in  Paris.  
Located  in  the  LaOn  Quarter,  the  hotel  
(which  sOll  stands  today)  housed  the  Beats  
in  the  40s  and  50,  where  payment  for  board  
was  usually  a  mural  or  a  piece  of  poetry.    

Plaque  
dedicated  to  
the  Beats  
who  stayed  
at  the  Hotel.  
Photo  By  
Author  

Who where the Beats?
The  Beatnik  GeneraOon  was  a  group  of  writers  and  
poets  in  the  1940s  and  50s  a`er  World  War  II.  They  
challenged  the  literary  world  with  new  methods  of  
expression  and  alternaOve  wriOng  styles.  The  Beats  
rejected  the  conformist  culture  of  the  post  war  era  
and  embraced  a  bohemian  culture  that  valued  
spontaneous  creaOvity.    Their  works  and  their  
influence  spread  across  the  United  States  and  past  its  
borders  into  countries  all  over  the  world.    
CalcuKa  poets  &  
writers  Sankar  
ChaKapadhya,  
Sunil  Ganguly  and  
JoyO  DuKa  with  
whom  Allen  spent  
many  hours  at  the  
the  coffee  shop  
near  CalcuKa  
University.  
Summer  1962.  c.  
Allen  Ginsberg  
Estate.  
Allen  Ginsberg  at  the  Parasuramesvara  
Temple  In  Bhubaneswar,  India.  1962.  Photo  
Courtesy  of  Allen  Ginsberg  Trust.    

Paul  Bowles,  Gregory  Corso,  Allen  Ginsberg,  
and  William  Burroughs  in  Tangier,  Morocco.  
Photo  courtesy  of  Allen  Ginsberg  Trust.  

The  Beat  writers  and  poets  
also  had  a  great  deal  of  
influence  in  places  such  as  
Cuba  and  other  LaOn  
American  countries.  Beats  
did  not  have  the  prejudice  
about  communism  that  
other  Americans  possess  
and  were  willing  to  talk  
openly  to  them.  Their  
support  of  Fidel  Castro  and  
the  agrarian  reform  gained  
admiraOon  from  Cubans.          

Many  of  the  Beats  
were  inspired  by  the  
religions  of  east  Asia.  
Allen  Ginsberg  was  
among  the  Beats  to  
travel  to  east  Asia  to  
study  the  religion  
and  culture.  While  
there  he  and  Peter  
Orlovsky  would  meet  
with  Indian  writers  
and  poets  in  coffee  
shops,  much  like  
what  the  Beats  did  in  
the  United  States.