click image to enlarge

Hard to Be a Saint in the City

The Spiritual Vision of the Beats
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
January, 2018
ISBN:
9781611804171
In stock now: 
2
$22.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Here’s a cool! exploration of Beat spirituality—seen through excerpts from the writings of the seminal writers of Beat Generation themselves. It’s been said that Jack Kerouac made it cool to be a thinking person seeking a spiritual experience. And there is no doubt that the writers he knew and inspired—iconic figures like Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, and Michael McClure—were thinkers seeking exactly that. In this re-claiming of their vision, Robert Inchausti explores the Beat canon to reveal that the movement was at heart a spiritual one. It goes deeper than the Buddhism with which many of the key figures became identified. It’s about their shared perception of an existence in which the Divine reveals itself in the ordinary. Theirs is a spirituality where real life triumphs over airy ideals and personal authenticity becomes both the content and the vehicle for a kind of refurbished American Transcendentalism. 

This consistently surprising treasury of excerpts from the writings of such figures as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, but also of lesser-known Beats, is arranged in a way that gives a shape and significance to their spiritual quest. Here be rich earth stuff!

If you can show your mind it reminds people that they have got a mind. If you can catch yourself thinking, it reminds people they can catch themselves thinking. If you have a vivid moment that’s more open and compassionate, it reminds people that they have those vivid moments. —Allen Ginsberg

Included are Kerouac's dialogues with Ginsberg and Burroughs on writing as a form of religious resistance and revelation, along with accounts of their experiments with psychedelics and visionary practices, including meditation. This is considerably more than a collection of Beat spiritual writings. It's a kind of introduction to Beat spirituality, presented systematically in the Beats' own words.

Discipline alone will not get one into the territory of “free and easy wandering”… One’s lesser talents may lead to success in craft or business, but then one might never find out what one’s more playful capacities might have been. —Gary Snyder

Publisher’s Description: 

An exploration of Beat spirituality--seen through excerpts from the writings of the seminal writers of Beat Generation themselves.

The Beat writers stand out as prophets who made a valiant effort to speak the truth in the face of the establishment values of the American post-WWII period, and the fact that so much of their work has stood the test of time is testimony to their importance. The Beat movement was at heart, according to Robert Inchausti, a spiritual enterprise, and the writings compiled in this anthology provide convincing evidence for that claim. Using his broad knowledge of Beat literature, he has created this treasury excerpts from the writings of such figures as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs, but also of lesser-known Beatniks--arranged in a way that gives a shape and significance to their spiritual quest.

Included are Kerouac's dialogues with Ginsberg and Burroughs on writing as a form of religious resistance and revelation, along with accounts of their experiments with psychedelics and visionary practices, which will then include their shared thoughts on meditation and psychedelic experimentation as visionary practices. This is considerably more than a collection of Beat spiritual writings. It's a kind of introduction to Beat spirituality, presented systematically in the Beats' own words.

Community Reviews

Login or Register to post a review