Andreea COSMA, Beat City: “Metamanifest Places” at the Crossroads of Literature and Activism in the Beat Generation

Abstract: A spatial analysis of the works of the Beat Generation, compared to real historical events, reveals challenges that writers, as social activists, may be confronted with while experiencing urban life and living under the values, norms and principles of the second half of the 20th century. The Beat writers can be seen as pioneers of the social movements after the 1950s, by encouraging youth toward rethinking their place into the world. By following the literary cartographies created by the Beats in their texts, one may identify “metamanifest places” through which I mean places that reveal examples of activism meant to raise awareness on significant issues regarding the city. What are “manifest places” and how they function in a number of texts will be discussed in this article.

Keywords: space, cartography, city, activism, Geocriticism, Beats, the Beat Generation.

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