Category: Featured Post

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Sylvia Beach on boots in a time of Nazi anti-modernism (yes, not “books” but “boots”)

In a 1960 issue of Kenyon Review I came across a transcript of a conversation moderated by the literary historian of modernism, Jackson Mathews, with Sylvia Beach, proprietor of the famous Parisian modernist bookstore, Shakespeare & Company—haven for expatriate and local avant-gardists. She’s remembering what happened when a Nazi soldier...

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The Beatniks are crazy

Late 1959. Science Digest summarizes a psychological study done on “beatniks” in San Francisco. It’s another way in which dissent gets pathologized at a time like that (late ’50s—a time of post-McCarthy thaw, a time in which a variety of heretical political positions could be once again taken). Here’s the...