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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 inuenOal all over


Europe, parOcularly in Paris, France. They
had a strong following in the city lled 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
inuence 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 coee 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
inuence 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 coee
shops, much like
what the Beats did in
the United States.