Chapter 8 The Beat Generation in Spain: Changes in the Underground Culture

In: Beat Literature in a Divided Europe
Santiago Rodríguez Guerrero-Strachan
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This chapter examines the literature of the Beat Generation in Spain. The Beat Generation was little known in Spain until well into the 1970s. It remained only partially accessible to Spanish readers since most writers, critics and translators focused on the work of the major Beat figures. Due to the Francoist dictatorship, the reception of the Beat Generation was delayed. Despite the late discovery by Spanish readers, the influence of the Beat Generation spread from the countercultural movement that attained its high point in United States in the 1960s and reached as far as the underground movement La Movida in Madrid in the 1980s. The chapter is divided into two parts, which discuss authors born before 1945 and after 1945, respectively. In general, the Beat Generation attracted attention due to Spanish writers’ search for freedom both in life and in literature, which in this respect implied a renewal of literary language.

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