Beatnik Shindig in San Francisco: Bringing together the Beat Generation, their families, and readers

Christine, Jerry Cimino, and soifollowjulian

Christine, Beat Museum Founder and Director Jerry Cimino, and SoIFollowJulian

This week was the first ever Beatnik Shindig, hosted by The Beat Museum in San Francisco. I’m a huge Beat fan and have been since I was 19 years old. I’m so very fortunate to have worked with and become friends with Director and Founder of the Beat Museum, Jerry Cimino and his wife Estelle (whom he met in a bookshop after graduating college!).

For me, The Beat Museum is much more than a museum: it’s a gathering place, one that draws people in and invites them to be comfortable and share their stories. It is an all important archive of all things Beat. Someone called Jerry up and said, hey I have an old piano that used to be Allen Ginsberg’s. If you drive up here and pick it up, you can have it! People want to contribute to the Museum and help preserve this literary history. The Beat generation were a bunch of miscreants (I say this with love as I would identify myself and many of my friends as thus) who moved around a lot and couldn’t seem to settle down. As a result, things they owned, touched, used, are all over the country. People don’t know what to do with these items, but they realize this Beat history is a large part of our American literary canon, and they want to contribute. Continue reading →

Choking with Excitement over Chuck Palahniuk @ Inforum


Elizabeth, mayhemSF, Chuck Palahniuk, Commonwealth Club, Inforum
Chuck Palahniuk spoke through the Commonwealth Club’s Inforum group at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. If you are familiar with Chuck’s writing, you’ll understand that he doesn’t do anything like others do. His voice and stories are unique because he is. Chuck’s books aren’t meant to be provocative. He isn’t writing to shock people. He is writing stories for people who like them, who get him, who also see the world differently. Chuck tells the stories he knows and understands. He tells the stories that were whispered to him by nervous people that want to confess, want to share their secrets. When people are shocked, it is because they are entering an unfamiliar territory, one in which they are uncomfortable with things they don’t understand or do not like.
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Irvine Welsh’s Misogynistic Woman in The Sex Lives Of Siamese Twins

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins, Irvine Welsh

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh examines society’s obsession with celebrity, fitness, art, and the way those things are used to inflict abuse. The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins is about the relationship of a fitness instructor who is filmed by an overweight suicidal artist saving two men from gunpoint. The two women become linked as Lena, the artist, attempts to get into shape with the fitness instructor, Lucy’s guidance. Lucy’s detestable actions seem to stem from her hatred of women. She uses them merely as figures to compare body types and for sex.  Continue reading →

Anne Rice Explores the Vampire Chronicles’ Legacy in Prince Lestat

Prince Lestat, Anne Rice, Vampire Chronicles

“Mon Dieu, a global consciousness, ” I said. “So I’m going to be blamed one way or another for everything?”(Anne Rice, 52) asks Lestat in Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat. It is at this moment that Lestat learns that he is responsible for the possible destruction of all vampires.

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Neal Cassady’s long lost “Joan Anderson letter” is found!!

JerryBeatMuseum

Jerry Cimino, Director of the Beat Museum. Image courtesy of The Beat Museum

Hoarders have been vindicated! The long lost letter of Neal Cassady has been found!! The letter would have ended up in the trash if it weren’t for Jack Spinosa, of West Hollywood. When his neighbor, of Golden Goose Press, was forced to move out of his office building, he started throwing everything away. Spinosa felt bad that people’s writing was just being trashed and saved boxes he never looked at. He kept them in his home without reviewing anything. The letter was discovered two years ago by his daughter, Jean Spinosa when she was cleaning out her father’s home. She found an envelope marked A. Ginsberg and initially there was some confusion as her father shares the same first name as Kerouac. She didn’t understand why Allen Ginsberg would be writing to her father. After reading a few pages she realized it was from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. She began her research and realized what she found when she read the Paris Review interview with Kerouac. In it, he describes the letter and credits it with the basis of style for On the Road and describes a small drawing of a window. Continue reading →