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实用英语口语(高等级) 17.The Beat generation

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COOL HUNTER:The beats. They were a generation of writers, poets, and artists in the 1950s who challenged authority, rejected mainstream middle class American values, and advocated a life of spontaneity. They thrived on creativity and they thrived on life. For the beats, it was about jazz, free love, drinking, radical politics, and words, poetry and prose. They lived life to its fullest, in constant pursuit of the next crazy, eye opening, worldly experience.

COOL HUNTER:Their soundtrack was jazz, which they used as a backdrop for readings of their work and an inspiration for their style of poetry. And their spokesman was Jack Kerouac, the novelist, writer, poet, and artist who is famous for his novel On the Road. Jack Kerouac called his style 'spontaneous prose'. The goal was to express thoughts without holding back, without stopping to consider how something might be said better, but just letting the words come out. This is often called stream of consciousness, when the writer abandons control of his words, and instead expresses his innermost thoughts in an uninterrupted flow of words, as they come to him.

COOL HUNTER:Words represent fragmentary thought, and the rhythm takes on a musical or poetic quality. Kerouac's writing resembled jazz in that it was improvisational. Sentences flowed together without stops, and the words could take on a certain rhythm. He used dashes or commas to signify a rhetorical breath, similar to a jazz musician taking a breath in between musical phrases. Kerouac was so committed to this style of writing, that he wrote his novel On the Road in just three weeks, typing one hundred words a minute in marathon sessions.

COOL HUNTER:To avoid having to replace sheets of paper in his typewriter page by page, Kerouac wrote his novel on a 120 foot roll of paper which was made up of pieces he taped together. This gave him the freedom to write in an uninterrupted flow. The manuscript is now famously known as 'the Scroll', and it was recently purchased for 2.4 million dollars. On the Road is today considered the testament of that generation, the Beat Generation. Kerouac and his peers not only influenced later generations of writers, but also influenced Western culture more broadly.

COOL HUNTER:叛逆一代的文化影响为60年代嬉皮士的出现做好了准备,鼓舞了一批摇滚乐人比如甲壳虫乐队和鲍勃·迪伦,还挑战了著名文人,让他们接受更自我更自由的诗歌和散文形式。 The creativity of the beat generation continues to inspire, and is sure to inspire creativity in generations to come.


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