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Title: Kind of singing in me : a critical account of women writers of the Beat generation
Author: Stewart, Kate Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 2687 3272
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis provides a critical account of women writers of the Beat generation. Writers such as Diane di Prima, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger, Joyce Johnson, Bonnie Bremser, and Janine Pommy Vega were part of the 1950s Beat literary culture and had social relationships with the more famous male Beat writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. To differing degrees the women writers have also been influenced by the aesthetics of the male writers, and since the 1950s their work has been contextualised alongside the men's in literary magazines, anthologies and more recent academic studies. But in such responses the women writers appear overshadowed by the male Beats, as 'minor characters', to quote the title of Joyce Johnson's memoir of the 1950s. The issue of women's 'minority' forms the premise of this thesis, and I introduce the minority debate through reference to the Beat canon and the issue of revisionism in relation to the wider literary canon. I cite theoretical models such as Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's 'rhizome' and 'nomadology' to support my argument. In their spatial form and terminology, these models express movement, which is pertinent since physical movement characterises the lifestyles, texts and myths of the Beat writers. Deleuze and Guattari' s theory can also express the destabilising which the notion of the woman writer brings to these images and myths. I argue that instead of proposing women writers as Beat writers we look to their difference. By reading the women's texts in relation to various themes -literary influence, the literary bohemian world of the city, the parental generation, and body, sexuality, and the road - I suggest difference is expressed in their writing. But rather than positing a distinct 'gynocritical' tradition in the terms set out by Elaine Showalter (1979), I highlight the differences between the women writers. By nature of its focus on little known texts and authors, and the critically undeveloped area of Beat literature and culture, this thesis is part literary history, part cultural history, part biography, as well as offering close readings of the texts. The texts discussed in this thesis have not only received little critical attention, they have not been read and contextualised against each other. In this thesis I do so, taking the broad historical and literary overview that women of the Beat generation have not received, as either writers or subjects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available