The Beat Generation Owed Much to Mexico, Reveals John Tytell’s New Work, ‘Beat Transnationalism’

New York, NY – The Beat generation had an intrinsic connection with Mexico. Its leading figures were also inspired by a global, multi-cultural milieu. A new book, ‘Beat Transnationalism’ by John Tytell, now reveals these underpinnings in the form of an essay collection, blended with letters the author wrote to his wife from Mexico in those rebellious times.

Tytell was once told by Allen Ginsberg that he would first have to experience life in Mexico to understand the Beat generation. After all, as we learn now, Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ too carried some inspiration from the Mexican soil. An invitation from the American Society in Manhattan led Tytell to speak on Mexico and its role in shaping the Beat worldview. The essay, ‘The Mexican Magnet’, now forms the first part of ‘Beat Transnationalism’.

Following Ginsberg’s lead, Tytell promptly headed south to Oaxaca as he worked on ‘Naked Angels’, the first book to explore the development of Beat literature. While in Oaxaca, Tytell learned Spanish, and the works of Malcolm Lowry, DH Lawrence and Lawrence Ferlinghetti helped him imbibe the complete Mexican experience.

“My first focus in this book is the impact of Mexico on the Beats, and the letters should be considered as its emotional core,” says Tytell. Tytell’s re-evaluation of ‘Howl’ on its sixtieth anniversary led him to the present work.

‘Beat Transnationalism’ reveals the importance of Mexico to the Beat Generation, while recounting – via letters from Tytell to his wife, Mellon – his own experiences in Oaxaca. The primary focus is the importance of Mexico to the three best-known Beat figures – Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac. The book delves even further, aiming to explore transnationalism among other members of the Beat Generation and also artists of the post-Beat era. It also includes essays on Bonnie Bremser, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, James Laughlin, and Patti Smith, among others.

John Tytell is best known as the author of ‘Naked Angels: the Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation’, ‘Ezra Pound: The Solitary Volcano’, and seven other works of non-fiction. A prolific contributor to leading magazines such as Vanity Fair, Partisan Review, Fame, and The American Scholar, Tytell is the Founding Editor of American Book Review.

‘Beat Transnationalism’ will be published in May, 2017 by Beatdom Books, and will also be available directly from the publisher, through Amazon (and also Amazon Kindle), and distributed by Ingram.

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