Beat News: September 12 1995

1. According to an article in the current Addicted To Noise, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth has been delving into some unreleased and previously unknown recordings by Kerouac, and is making plans with Geffen to release the material. Cool! Ranaldo has been known to write some good neo-beat stuff himself, in fact.

2. I have a bunch of literary links to tell you about today:

I wouldn’t expect to find myself plugging a website that bills itself as the “Harbor of the Western Soul and the Conservative Intellectual.” A conservative intellectual is one thing I most decidely am NOT — but
somehow I like the Beaconway Press website anyway. These guys have a sense of fun, and I always like people who have the nerve to state their opinions clearly,
even when their opinions are WRONG. But seriously … these guys seem pretty cool, they know their western lit as well as anyone, and they hate the mainstream literary establishment as much as I do (of course they think it’s too liberal; I just think it’s too damn boring!). But, whatever … drop by and see what you think.

Back on safer turf, the 4th episode of Enterzone is out. I first heard of Enterzone a year ago, when one of the founders sent me e-mail asking for a contribution to their first issue. Since then
they’ve become my closest literary comrades on the web, and I think the stuff they’re publishing is tremendously original.

I’m also very enthusiastic about a new novel that Enterzone fiction editor Martha Conway has begun serializing on the Web. Martha is a serious writer who’s been published in many literary journals, and I think it’s cool of her to take a chance on publishing this novel online, as I imagine she could have easily published it through more traditional means instead. It’s called In Some Unrelated Land, and it’s about a 22-year-old lost soul drifting through Berkeley, California after the sudden death of her parents.

Finally, I just discovered the Cosmic Baseball Association which is some sort of fabulously eclectic rotisserie baseball league where the players are chosen from among the historical luminaries of arts and culture. One of the teams is called the Dharma Beats and you’ve got to see this lineup. I can’t quite figure this website out, which is why I think I like it so much.

The web is really exploding with originality and creativity lately, I think. All of the above sites are efforts by individuals or small groups of people, without a lot of money, and probably without a lot of technological resources either. All it takes is a little courage, and a lot of time.

3. The Whitney Museum in New York will be presenting a major exhibit of Beat-related artwork and artifacts beginning November 9. I’ll write more about this after it opens.

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