‘Vision music’: Bob Dylan via Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

Laurence Coupe

in Beat Sound, Beat Vision

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780719071126
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702079 | DOI:
‘Vision music’: Bob Dylan via Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

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This chapter tries to align Bob Dylan with Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, and to determine which of the two serves as Dylan's mentor, noting that Kerouac and Ginsberg had been closely identified with each other and with the Beat movement of the 1950s. The two discovered their irreconcilable differences during the 1960s; Kerouac became disenchanted with the mass counterculture inspired by the Beats' minority subculture, while Ginsberg became a countercultural figurehead. The chapter reveals the tension that informs Dylan's remarkable achievement and places him firmly within the Beat legacy.

Keywords: Bob Dylan; Beat movement; mentor; mass counterculture; minority subculture; countercultural figurehead; tension; Beat legacy; Allen Ginsberg; Jack Kerouac

Chapter.  18213 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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