✸ Go Epub ✻ Author John Clellon Holmes – Ebooks2020.co

✸ Go Epub ✻ Author John Clellon Holmes – Ebooks2020.co chapter 1 Go, meaning Go, genre Go, book cover Go, flies Go, Go 13939c4e6deb7 The Novel That Launched The Beat Generation S Literary Legacy Describes The World Of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg And Neil Cassady Published Two Months Before Kerouac Began On The Road, Go Is The First And Most Accurate Chronicle Of The Private Lives The Beats Lived Before They Became Public Figures In Lucid Fictional Prose Designed To Capture The Events, Emptions And Essence Of His Experience, Holmes Describes An Individualistic Post World War II New York Where Crime Is Celebrated, Writing Is Revered, And Parties, Booze, Discussions, Drugs And Sex Punctuate Life


10 thoughts on “Go

  1. says:

    Most people believe that On the Road 1957 is the first fictional portrayal of the Beat Generation But it isn t No, the first Beat novel is Go 1952 by John Clellon Holmes.In 1949, while Jack Kerouac was still revising and seeking a publisher for The Town and the City, a sprawling autobiographical novel in the Thomas Wolfe mode with a few beat characters , John Clellon Holmes was working on a shorter, concentrated fiction, bearing the working title of The Daybreak Boys a roman a clef depicting the lives of his friends Jack Kerouac Gene Pasternak , Allen Ginsberg David Stofsky , Neal Cassady Hart Kennedy , plus a few less significant, shadier figures of the era Cannastra, Huncke who connect these young artists to the darkness of crime, junk, alcoholism, and the death wish which the young poets were never far from in the post war Manhattan streets Go was published in 1952, five years before On The Road.It is an old fashioned sort of novel, in spite of its subject matter, an odd amalgam of the social chronicles of Balzac and the mad mystical dialogues of Dostoevsky It depicts the rather conventional young novelist Paul Hobbes fictionalized representation of the author as he tries to complete a novel, hold on to his marriage to his wife Kathryn, and still explore the wild world of these young poets, immersed in their tea parties and be bop bars, precariously poised between genius and enlightenment on the one hand, and madness and criminality on the other Both the narrator and the author are somehow detached from the life around him, and this detachment itself becomes one of the themes of the book Is art essentially reflective or ecstatic Does the poet say to himself come, stay in this moment, explore its meaning Or does he become the moment, shouting go, go, go like a hipster digging a real gone sax solo, until life itself comes to a stop The two personalities that come most vividly to life are those of Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg Hart Kennedy Cassady is not the romantic, almost mystical figure that he is in Kerouac, but rather a transparent sociopath, subject to fits of violence particularly against women , using his philosophy of being in the moment as a cloak for criminal and irresponsible behavior It is David Stofsky Ginsberg , though, who is the most memorable desperately lonely and filled with love, consumed with both cosmic joy and dread, too neurotic to live in the moment but hungry for peace an imperfect incarnation of God s holy fool.This is by no means a great novel, but everyone interested in the Beat Generation should read it It balances the ecstatic visions of Kerouac and Ginsberg with the observations of a clinical middle class eye Holmes gives us a realistic, less romantic, vision of the Beats, and this helps us put this generation of poets in perspective Holmes is especially good when he is describing bars, after hours joints, and marijuana parties To conclude, I give you this description of the end of one of the latter The lights were out, an all night bop program hummed out of the radio, and a single candle made a quivering finger of light upon the table The room seemed full of dusky subsidings, a shambles of butts, strewn glasses and books, the sad mementos of a carouse that had swept on elsewhere.


  2. says:

    Go is generally regarded as the first novel of the Beat Generation, written between 1949 and 1951, and first published in 1952, nearly sixty years ago I first read it when I was 20, fifty years ago, and rereading it after all that time is a rather strange experience It is set in the late 1940s, and that was another generation, a generation that I don t connect with They are the people who came home from the war, whom I used to meet in bars around Durban, those boozy old men In 1972 I used to go for lunch at the Grosvenor Hotel in Soldiers Way across the road from Durban station and sip my solitary beer and eat my 15c curry for lunch, and hear them talking about Smiler Small, who used to frequent the bar in Malvern, and I used to look at all the World War II memorabilia decorating the bar It never occurred to me that those people, who frequented bars like that, were the Beat Generation, and yet they were Jack Kerouac was the same age as my father in law, who occasionally used to go drinking at the Malvern Hotel.Yet it was only ten years later, in 1960 61 that I was reading their books, envying their life, and wondering if had really happened the way John Clellon Holmes and Jack Kerouac described it But they are the generation I associate with alien things like Frank Sinatra, and males in suits and hats, and women wearing lipstick and nylon stockings, and people trying to get back on their feet after the war So reading Go is very strange It was only 20 years before 1970, yet 1970 is now forty years ago And the Durban station is no longer there, and Soldiers Way is probably called something else, and if the Grosvenor Hotel is still there it too is probably called something else now But then I remember that I too was like that, even when longing to be like that and thinking it must be different somehow, and somehow exciting But it only sounded exciting than the lives we lived in the 1960s We too experienced that restless rushing around in the, rushing to Meadowlands to see Cyprian Moloi, or to Springs to see Noel Lebenya, travelling many miles to see if a friend was home, and finding that they were out, travelling many liles to see another Not as many boozy parties, and no one was writing a book, but perhaps our conversations were even intelligent, even when we smoked pot, which was rare And that was only fifteen years after it all happened in Holmes s book Fifty years ago somehow seems quite close to the present, yet ten years earlier, when Holmes wrote, seems another world, another eon, another universe In the sixties Holmes s world of New York seemed like some magic golden age, and looking back from now to the sixties, that seems like the real golden age The times Holmes wrote about, I realise now, were different, not just because it was another generation, but another world and worldview And rereading it fifty years later, I see that Holmes actually tried to create the new vision that made us look back on his world with rose tinted spectacles What he longed for became part of our vision.The essence of the book is summed up in the dream of one of the characters, Stofsky a thinly diguised version of the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg Stofsky dreams that he meets God, in a rather shabby dusty room, sitting on a very shabby throne, and God tells him to Go, and love without the help of any Thing on earth For us in the sixties, that was the starting point It was a kind of presupposition It was the presupposition with which I read Go the first time And so it all seemed rather wonderful, transported out of its time and place into some kind of beautiful timeless realm I could not imagine them as part of the same world as the suits and hats and nylon stockings But rereading it fifty years later, I see it in a very different perspective Another of the characters in Go, Paul Hobbes who represents Holmes himself doesn t have dreams and visions like Stofsky, but gradually comes to realise that their values and their life of endless boozy partying are rather shallow He thinks of his friends, including one who had died, and wonders if anyone had actually loved them And it is in this seeting of lovelessness, hopelessness, selfishness and despair that God appears to Stofky in a dream and says Go, and love without the help of any Thing on earth.


  3. says:

    Go is The Melrose Place of Beat Generation books, no boy s club writing here The same cast of characters are on board Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Casady and the gang, but John Clellon Holmes gives equal space to their women and their tempestuous relationships That s why this book is so cool it s got a real nighttime soap opera vibe about it that s exciting and sexy than the sausage fest style the other Beat boys write with Go read Go.


  4. says:

    Excellent This is virtually all true and the portraits here of the big three Ginsberg, Kerouac and Cassady are great to see Ginsberg, especially, gets a starring role in this, as compared to On the Road, where he plays second fiddle We get to see his real caring nature, his eclectic personality, and his devilish playfulness, including instigating multiple conflicts based on his psychological insightful challenges toward his friends Amazingly, Cassady comes off nearly the same person as Kerouac s version, especially his dialogue, phrases, intonations and mannerisms, but in this novel I glimpsed of his penchant for causing damage, rather than inspiration Bonus, we get the live action scene of Cassady breaking his thumb I think it s only the aftermath in OTR, and I don t recall it at all in the Scroll , which in some strange way is a bit touching, even though he breaks it on his girl s forehead I felt both his psycho qualities and I also felt some pity for him And for Kerouac, we get to see him about an hour after he s informed of his first book contract it s like witnessing history, and ironically and truly Holmes character learns the fate of his first book in the very same hour.This got better and better and the finish is amazing Towards the end we get to see the events that caused Ginsberg to get arrested, and soon after there is some pretty good comedy involving a sort of cleaning up of a crime scene, essentially Later there s a shock of unexpected tragedy, then totally unexpected comedy in the shadow of death, and next, tears were flowing, all within a few pages The novel is about this group of friends who have mostly lost hope, yet are trying in all sorts of ways to cope, or find some meaning, whether intellectually, spiritually, artistically, or by drowning their feelings and just getting kicks in their booze, drugs and crime The emotions and confusion and chaos seem real in these characters, and ultimately, in the absence of meaning, they are haunted by death.Very glad I read this, and it will highly likely make my top ten for 2014.


  5. says:

    Really awesome, like a postmodern On The Road you d think was written last year deliberately to subvert the mythic image, when in fact the reverse is true this book was the first one to use the phrase beat generation and was actually published before On The Road , though it s not as well known John Clellon Holmes was one of the Beats inner circle before Jack Kerouac s fame started the beatnik craze Go gives a balanced portrayal of how that scene felt from the inside than Kerouac s book for instance, in Go , Hart Kennedy Neal Cassady gets slammed on his whole sexism trip by his ex wife, and Pasternak Kerouac gets tagged for his private conservatism and worshipfuly imitating the posturing of Kennedy Cassady who comes across in this book as a Fonz like figure, bedazzling all the Columbia intellectual crowd with hipster jargon, dig, man, blow, and smoking tea Go has almost all the same characters as On The Road even one based on Herbert Huncke Much of the narrative centers around the first visions of a character based on Allen Ginsberg named Stofsky, and his effect on the social lives of all the others One interesting angle is when the Huncke character and two other underworlders, a slumped junkie named Little Rock who the character Hobbes based on Holmes casts as the epitome of coolness and a tall redhead named Winnie, move into Stofsky s apartment, using it to stash stolen goods, with increasing obviousness the Stofsky character sees himself as a prophet subverting social values by hanging around with the world s doomed and outcast or some other such Blakean Ginsbergism And that s not all


  6. says:

    chock full of beautiful language about love, drugs, sex, drugs, ennui that exists on the cusp of the Beat Generation s explosive, literary reaction But this is a sad book, too about young men and women looking to Go and love without the help of any thing on earth p.246 The Beats weren t just Madmen, On the Road, and free they were drug addicts, petty thieves, and the drifters of the unforgiving underbelly of 1950s NYC They were young people looking for Home and this Roman a Clef sets the foundation that launches a generation those off to find the world and themselves sometimes successfully, sometimes not Holmes says so himself that at times his writing is young and raw It is It often meanders too long or falls in love with the sound of its own voice The end does fall apart as though the author is trying to cram all the poetry he can into the last few scenes But that cinematic ending forgives all and leaves the reader wondering where Home truly is.


  7. says:

    Having read most of Jack Kerouac s books about this period in time, it was interesting to read about it from a different perspective Holmes definitely takes a sober view of everything than Kerouac did Kerouac was all about the kicks, and Holmes is all about the consequences.If you are reading the same edition as me, don t read the forward first It reprints the entire last two paragraphs of the book.


  8. says:

    I really really loved this book I wasn t sure what to expect, being about the Beats but not by Kerouac, but it was phenomenally good Holmes doesn t have Kerouac s beautiful prose but he has an intensity that I found really appealing He gave so much insight into his characters and their inner battles The dialogue was great, their were so many memorable scenes even though so much of it was a whirlwind of parties and bar hoping Despite being published in the 50s it was full of sex and drugs and jazz I m not sure how much I liked Holmes, I thought it was a bit telling that the only scene he made up was his wife sleeping with Kerouac, which seemed rather mean But it was told so beautifully, and her explanation and feelings about it the next day when talking to him, and him not getting it was perfect I feel like I had that exact conversation with one of my exs I think that was part of the appeal to me was that it reminded me so much of my life in my 20s and it was lovely to read about the lives of people 50 years earlier and having them do the same crazy things, and go to exactly the same parties and have some similar dramas In fact the only thing I wasn t expecting was the car chase, but then I suppose no book is perfect His portrayal of the beats was different to Kerouac s they seemed rawer and not as nice Particularly Neal, though I loved his portrayal of LuAnne, and their last fight I think Kerouac came off most like himself Ginsberg was interesting in that the homosexuality didn t really get mentioned till about 3 4 of the way through and then it was only hinted at as to why he was so depressed I think one of my favourite scenes was when the fag and the junkie sat around and talked about their different opinions on society s rejections of them I don t know if it was a reflection of the author, or society, that made it ok to talk about all the drinking, drug taking and sex but yet homosexuality was still so taboo The book was such an amazingly intense ride, even when it was at it s most aimless wandering around in search of tea the characters seemed so vivid While it was obviously based on real people and real events it felt like a novel rather than an autobiography and I think this really worked in it s favor and added tension It was full of psychology and social commentary, without being blatant about it, just in the way the characters were trying to cope with life and get by the best they could I totally loved this book, I can t recommend it highly enough I am definitely going to read anything else I can find published by him.


  9. says:

    If you think that the whole notion of the Beat Generation sprang from the head of Jack Kerouac when he wrote On the Road, you re wrong Before Kerouac, there was John Clellon Holmes with Go, which partly fiction and partly autobiography tells of the frenetic search for liberation through drugs, alcohol, and even friendship that marked that strange group of young men who formed the core of the movement.Holmes does, however, change their names Holmes becomes Paul Hobbes Kerouac, Gene Pasternak Allen Ginsberg, David Sklofsky and Neal Cassady, Hart Kennedy There are others, too, but these are the best known Go is set entirely in New York City, and so leaves out the whole California efflorescence of the movement that was to follow While the novel is awkward in spots it was Holmes s first it is truthful and strangely analytical, as if Holmes were, to some extent, judging his own participation When interviewed years later why he was so fascinated with this circle of friends, he replied Why did Hobbes yearn to know every aspect of the Times Square world Undifferentiated reality That is, life lived moment to moment as it unfolds Spontaneous young men and women, too, I m sure are attracted to the spontaneous, the improvised, the random, thus the wondrous.Of all of Holmes s characterizations, the one that stays with me the most is David Sklofsky as Ginsberg with his innocence, mysticism, and unending curiosity In the end, I think the Holmes understood the Beat Generation than Kerouac did Kerouac, in the end, was one of its victims.


  10. says:

    A pretty great window into the inner workings of the Beats right before they started to publish and become famous Holmes is much of a realist than Kerouac and certainly Neal Cassady and doesn t hesitate to show the dark side of the Beat lifestyle as when several characters get bored and sick of the antics of Cassady here Hart Kennedy and Jack Kerouac here Gene Pasternak at a bop jazz show There s also lots of tooth gnashing over the group s use and abuse of alcohol and drugs, and the confusion caused by several characters commitment to sexual freedom.It s clear very likely Kerouac read Go and said I m gonna take out all the stuff that s a drag, man, and just go, go, go It s doubtful Go would be as interesting if you didn t know who the characters REALLY were, and that in a few months many of them would be very famous It s also divided into chapters narrated by Holmes character Hobbes and the Allen Ginsberg stand in David Stofsky, making the whole seem disjointed at times.That said, the chapters float by like wild nights on the gritty side of town, broken up only by the bitter mornings after that Kerouac so assiduously avoided in his popular books You also get a better perspective on the lives of the women who hung out with the Beats, and all the horrors they put up with Holmes, unlike Kerouac or Cassady, feels empathy for the spots they keep putting them in though they keep doing it, of course.A pretty enlightening look back at the Beat era from a man who lived it, and who watched the best minds of his generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked you know the rest.