Alan Garfield

Alan Garfield is Chair of the Computer Graphics and Interactive Media Department at the University of Dubuque, in Dubuque, Iowa USA. His formal education is eclectic: BA, University of Iowa; MA, State University of New York-Binghamton; Postgraduate work Wadham College, Oxford. His interests, as measured by recent publications, included 2D and 3D animation algorithms, images in contemporary politics, 19th century French philosophies, Holocaust studies, and Beat Generation poetry. He teaches in Iowa; he lives in Ireland.

Pilgrimage: A Journey to the Beat Museum Paper presented at the inaugural European Beat Studies Network Conference in Middelburg, The Netherlands. 5-7 September, 2012.

Abstract for EBSN Conference 2013 in Aalborg, Denmark.

In this paper, I explore the intersections of modernity in Irish literature by looking at Beat influence in writing and lifestyle in 20th and 21st century Ireland. There was no Beat Movement in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. We all know that. But what about the Beat influence post 1960s and even now in the new millennium? In a 2009 interview with Patricia Dagier (Jack Kerouac, Breton d’Amérique), Kerouac said that his surname was from the Irish for “language of the water”. And while the influence on him and other Beats from Irish literature, mainly James Joyce, is both well-known and well documented, the reverse cannot be said. While the triumphirate of Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac were influenced by Irish writing, this paper will explore how Irish writing has been and continues to be influenced by the Beats with a focus on the Irish zeitgeist Beat, Flann O’Brien.

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