Merely Being There Is Not Enough: Women's Roles in Autobiographical Texts by Female Beat Writers
Despite the advent of second wave feminism in the late 1960s, it took more than twenty years before feminist literary criticism started to pay attention to the complex role of women Beat writers. Merely Being There Is Not Enough theorizes the memoirs of Diane di Prima, Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, and Brenda Frazer, and analyzes their contributions to the Beat movement. Among the writings of female Beat authors, the memoir has become the most commonly used literary genre. At the height of the Beat movement, Frazer published Troia: Mexican Memoirs in 1969, the same year that saw the publication of di Prima's Memoirs of a Beatnik . Most female Beat voices, however, remained astonishingly silent until 1983, when Johnson published Minor Characters: A Young Woman's Coming of Age in the Beat Generation . Johnson's long-time friend Jones followed with How I Became Hettie Jones in 1990. The memoirs of Beat women chronicle the Beat-1950s and the intimate relationships with icons of the time: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka, and Ray Bremser. Being there at a crucial moment in history validates female Beats' stories as indispensable social documents of the 1950s. To make women Beat writers visible and to categorize their memoirs, this work immerses in the almost paradoxical project of defining a category of female Beat writing when it is the nature of Beat literature and its rebellious aesthetics to dismiss any kind of labeling. Women Beats unsettle the categories of Beat writing and culture: Therefore, a revision and re-examination of Beat history is inevitable to understand the movement's literary expression.
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713 The Kerouac Johnson Connection
714 The Process of Writing a Memoir
72 Hettie Jones How I Became Hettie Jones
722 Setting up Scenes
723 Jones ComingofAge
724 Past Places in How I Became Hettie Jones
73 Reader Identification with Minor Characters and How I Became Hettie Jones
74 Categorizing Johnsons and Jones Memoirs
61 Shocking Details
612 More than just Friends?
613 City Spring and Country Summer
62 Real or Made up Orgasms? Reality Versus Fiction
63 Towards a Categorization of Memoirs
64 Diane di Prima A Female Neal Cassady?
Joyce Johnson and Hettie Jones Confide in me
71 Joyce Johnsons Minor Characters
Elise Cowen 19331962
712 Distorted Memory and Fluid Time
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Page 6 - ... history, we have been forced to live with the suppressed knowledge that the smallest facets of our personality or the most minor projection of our ideas, or indeed the absence of ideas and the absence of personality, could mean equally well that we might still be doomed to die as a cipher in some vast statistical operation in which our teeth would be counted, and our hair would be saved, but our death itself would be unknown, unhonored, and unremarked...
Page 13 - ... young people" because the problems I want to discuss in this book belong primarily, in our society, to the boys: how to be useful and make something of oneself. A girl does not have to, she is not expected to, "make something" of herself. Her career does not have to be self-justifying, for she will have children, which is absolutely self-justifying, like any other natural or creative act. With this background, it is less important, for instance, what job an average young woman works at till she...