“It proved at least one thing more. That poetry, painting, music, and fiction are products of the individual. That the great American novel will be written by some antisocial SOB who can’t stand espresso and never heard of Wilhelm Reich – the guy who sits up all night at a typewriter and brings to his peculiar vision the discipline of form and the love of an educated heart. A generation my be disenchanted, but it takes a man alone to chronicle that disenchantment.

“Nobody sees Saul Bellow at Rienzi’s or James Gould Cozzens at the Co-Existence Bagel Shop. Robert Frosts don’t run in rat-packs. Art is individual, the child of solitary individuals who wed their loneliness to their hope.”

– excerpted from the essay,” Epitaph for the Beat Generation”
originally printed September 12, 1959 in the National Review
From the colllection, Reading for My Life by John Leonard

At breakfast in New York, late 1950s.
L-R: Larry Rivers, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso (back of head), David Amram, Allen Ginsburg

Found at my local library…also available at your independent bookseller...

Advertisements