Ginsberg, Where Are You? – the Reception of Beat Literature in Austria

in Beat Literature in a Divided Europe
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Abstract

This chapter analyses the reception of Beat literature in Austria and its influence on Austrian writers from ca. 1960 to the present. It also provides an overview of the political and cultural context of post-World War ii Austria as a precondition for understanding the difficulties confronted by experimental writers in this highly conservative Roman Catholic country, which had only been half-heartedly denazified. The study not only discusses the influence of Beat literature on well-known Austrian writers such as Nobel laureate in literature Elfriede Jelinek, Peter Handke, Wolfgang Bauer, and similarities between the writing techniques found in Beat literature and the experiments of the so called “Wiener Gruppe” (Vienna Group), but also the central role of the Schule für Dichtung (Vienna Poetry School) in establishing a positive image of Beat poetry in Austria.

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