CYBER DEAL: Palgrave eBooks and softcovers for only 11,99€! Get this offer >>

Anti-Humanism in the Counterculture

Authors: Stevenson, Guy

Free Preview
  • The first ever study of anti-humanism in America's 1950s and 60s literary counterculture
  • A major contribution to the study of literary modernist legacies after 1945
  • Timely context for current debates about identity politics and our culture wars today
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-47760-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)
About this book

This book offers a radical new reading of the 1950s and 60s American literary counterculture. Associated nostalgically with freedom of expression, romanticism, humanist ideals and progressive politics, the period was steeped too in opposite ideas – ideas that doubted human perfectibility, spurned the majority for a spiritually elect few, and had their roots in earlier politically reactionary avant-gardes. Through case studies of icons in the counterculture – the controversial sexual revolutionary Henry Miller, Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs and self-proclaimed ‘philosopher of hip’, Norman Mailer – Guy Stevenson explores a set of paradoxes at its centre: between romantic optimism and modernist pessimism; between brutal rhetoric and emancipatory desires; and between social egalitarianism and spiritual elitism. Such paradoxes, Stevenson argues, help explain the cultural and political worlds these writers shaped – in their time and beyond.


About the authors

Guy Stevenson is a lecturer in literature at Goldsmiths and Queen Mary Colleges, University of London, UK and a recent postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, the University of Edinburgh, UK. He specialises in modernism and the 1960s counterculture and has published widely on both – including pieces in The European Journal of English Studies and in anthologies about the writers Henry Miller and Ezra Pound. Guy’s essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement and Literary Review, and he is currently editing a special issue of the journal Textual Practice, entitled ‘Anti-Humanist Modernisms’.


Reviews

“With a tight focus on the three major Beat writers, framed by Henry Miller before them and Norman Mailer after, Guy Stevenson advances a compelling case for rethinking the ideological centre-ground of literary counterculture. Rather than fudging the contradictions in their politics, his study dissects the universally presumed progressivism of the “Beat brand,” teasing out with deep insight the paradoxes in Ginsberg and Kerouac of combining Romantic and reactionary literary traditions. The satirical anti-humanist Burroughs, who explored the “submarine blackness” of his own misanthropy, emerges as the least hypocritical if also most shocking of them all, a writer who is, as Stevenson argues, as relevant to the culture wars of the 21st century as he was to the radical movements of the second half of the 20th.” (Professor Oliver Harris, President of the European Beat Studies Network. Author of William Burroughs and the Secret of Fascination

“Anti-Humanism in the Counterculture is an excellent, erudite, well-written and original book, a major intervention in discussions of late modernism, the Beat writers, and the reception of modern and contemporary literature and culture. Stevenson usefully pans out into discussions of modernism’s complex reception writ large and the Beats’ vexed relations with modernism during a period when it was being rapidly institutionalized, tamed, made academically respectable.” (Professor Aaron Jaffe, Frances Cushing Ervin Professor of American Literature, Florida State University. Author of Modernism and The Culture of Celebrity)



Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 74,89 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-47760-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 93,59 €
price for Spain (gross)

Services for this book

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Anti-Humanism in the Counterculture
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-47760-8
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-47760-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-47759-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 223
Topics