Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Writing Nature in Cold War American Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sarah Daw

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430029

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430029.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

The Beat Ecologies of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac

The Beat Ecologies of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac

(p.129) Chapter 4 The Beat Ecologies of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac
Writing Nature in Cold War American Literature

Sarah Daw

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Four develops the previous chapter’s investigation into the substantial influence of translated Chinese and Japanese philosophical writing on presentations of an ecological Nature in Cold War American literature. However, it differs in its countercultural focus, exploring the influence of Americanised translations of Chinese and Japanese literature and philosophy on the work of the Beat Generation writers Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Ginsberg and Kerouac’s extensive correspondence reveals the two writers’ developing interest in Taoist and Zen Buddhist thought, and their co-development of their own Americanised and highly inauthentic ‘Beat Zen’, which was heavily influenced by Dwight Goddard’s A Buddhist Bible (1932). Taking these letters as its starting point, the chapter reveals that translated Taoism and Zen Buddhism informed each writer’s ecological depictions of the human relationship to Nature in some of their most famous contributions to Beat literature, including Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums (1958) and Ginsberg’s “Howl” (1956).

Keywords:   Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Beat Zen, Dharma Bums, Zen Buddhism, Taoism

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.