BRYAN, Jim Oaks. Jesus was a Beatnik.

(Largo, FL): J.O.B. Publishing, 1960.  First edition.  Paperback original.  124 pages.  Super cool, and scarce early study of the beatniks that repudiates the preconceived conceptions of ‘squaresville’.  To the larger society, the persons identifying themselves as part of the Beat Generation of the late 1940s and 1950s appeared to be the very antithesis of the religious and spiritual ethos of the post-World War II years in America, (FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sounded the alarm when he stated that the three major enemies of America were “Communists, eggheads, and beatniks.”) however, Kerouac insisted that he and his fellow Beats really were pilgrims on a religious and spiritual quest in the new and uncertain land that America had become following the Second World War.  He once described On the Road, by saying, “It really was a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God.  And we found him.”   The author here seems to understand the true nature of the beatniks and makes the argument that we would all do well to emulate the qualities of the true beats as espoused by Kerouac.  The title suggesting, as did Ferlinghetti in his 1950’s poem Sometime During Eternity, that Jesus was the original beatnik.  A good copy in printed wrappers, small tear to base of spine.  Scarce, seldom if ever offered for sale.  A presentable copy of this fragile book.


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