Chapter 5 The Transfer and Appropriations of the Beat Generation in Greece

In: Beat Literature in a Divided Europe
Maria Nikolopoulou
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The chapter examines the ways that the poetry of the Beat Generation was transferred to Greece and its function within the Greek cultural and political framework. The visits of Beat poets in Greece, as early as 1959, led to the formation of a limited circle of avant-garde artists who were interested in their subversive cultural identity, practices and poetry. Beat poems were published in avant-garde magazines (both in English and in Greek translation), most of which thematised the Beats’ experience of Greece. Greek poets drew on beat writing, associating it with surrealism. The 1967 dictatorship and the international political activity of members of the Beat Generation such as Allen Ginsberg enabled the Greek wider public to read the Beats in a more political perspective. After the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, the Beats remained a symbol of underground culture and functioned differently for different artistic and political groups.

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