❰EPUB❯ ✼ Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir Author Joyce Johnson – Ebooks2020.co


10 thoughts on “Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir

  1. says:

    Although there are moments of stunning beauty, this book is often dull The nature of life may be fragmentary, but Johnson s swerving changes in direction make for a book whose narrative is confusing and even annoying.This book is three things it s a memoir of a woman s early life it s a reflection on women s place in society in the 1950s and it s a book about the beat generation.I suspect most people who pick it up are interested in the third element However, as a Beat memoir, I found it disappointing Johnson s interaction with the major Beat writers is, all told, a bit limited She gives interesting portraits of those that she knew and attempts to demystify Jack Kerouac, but there are no particularly stunning revelations.As a book about women in the 1950s, it s a chunky read Johnson is clear and insightful on the subject of gender and the most memorable passages are those where Joyce navigates what it means to be a woman in society Her accounts of illegal abortions are particularly vivid Possibly the best part of the novel is Joyce s relationship with her friend, Elise, who suffered a much tragic fate.However, Minor Characters is, predominantly, a memoir about an unremarkable young woman Bear in mind, Johnson doesn t meet Kerouac until halfway through the book I found much of the content about Joyce s childhood adolescence incredibly tedious Also, it s only a part memoir We don t get to hear what happened to Joyce after her 30th birthday We also don t get to hear what happened to any of the other characters later in life Johnson assumes a lot of Beat knowledge from her reader I m pretty well read in that area and even I found myself on wikipedia, looking up information about the players in her story.


  2. says:

    If I weren t taking a class about the Beat Generation right now, I probably would never have even been told about this book, much less read it And that would really have been a tragedy, because very shortly after starting this book I found myself hooked I was supposed to speed read it in just a week, but I found myself captivated I couldn t rush through it, only gleaning the information I would need for whatever upcoming paper or discussion I would be taking part of Instead I read this book slowly, enjoying it only at moments when I was most relaxed I allowed myself to fall deeply into the world that Joyce Johnson recreates in her memoir And I found myself attaching to the characters almost against my will.I ll be honest there is no love lost between me and the Beats As much as I appreciate their writing for the literary value, I ve never found too much to interest me in the people themselves After reading entirely too many biographies on various big wigs in the movement, I ve gotten somewhat tired of the same stories told by people who are academically removed from the people they are writing about It is boring, and no one has made any of the writers and their circle come alive for me.That was Joyce Johnson s biggest success here She brought these characters alive for me and made me feel for them and sympathize with them I am not one hundred percent sure what the reason is, but I suspect her own love for these people played a large part in my own warming to them I could see them not just as these detached literary figures, sanctified by generations of hipster kids, but as real people, with real flaws And instead of those flaws making my distaste for the Beats feel vindicated, they made invited me into the lives of these men and especially the women And I didn t want to leave.Even though I already knew how the story ended for all these characters, both major and minor, I didn t want the end of the book to come Even as I rushed headlong toward the end of the narrative, I didn t want to reach that last page I was hoping that Johnson would finish on the happy notes, or at least the bittersweet ones But she doesn t hold back Just as she let us into the lives of these rising stars of literature, she also let us into their downfall either into anonymity or early death Or both.In the end I was glad to have read this book I would definitely recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in the Beats and their hangers on But I especially recommend it if you, like me, find yourself unimpressed with the character of the Beats While this book will not necessarily change your mind, it will give you a deeper understanding of why they were the way they were.


  3. says:

    The book was really enjoyable for me mainly because I got a personal account of what it was like to live in NYC in the 1950s Her main stomping grounds were three of my former own 1 The Upper West side Morningside Heights 2 The Village west 3 The East Side East Village Johnson states her disappointment with the fact that women were left out of the creative parts of the movement, yet she spent a lot of time waiting for Kerouac, failing to create much of anything herself, until her romantic relationship with Kerouac ended This passage really made see she wanted to be a part of the community scene, but like most women of her time, didn t want to stand out in that community and be proud to be an individual If I weren t in love with Jack and maybe going away, I might be tempted to become Fee s old lady, straighten him out a little, clean up the studio, contribute to the rent, have a baby or two, become one of those wary, quiet, self sacrificing, widely respected women brought by their men to the Cedar on occasional Saturday nights in their limp thrift shop made interesting with beads 170.It makes me sad to see Kerouac in this light, a selfish manipulator, but that s what he was Maybe Jack is right, there are no American heroes


  4. says:

    Because They re YoungAfter reading a review of Joyce Johnson s biography of Jack Kerouac, The Voice Is All The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac , I read the book, together with Minor Characters , Johnson s 1983 memoir of her relationship with Kerouac years earlier Upon its publication, Minor Characters won the National Book Critics Circle Award Johnson b 1935 has written three novels and other works of nonfiction in addition to the Kerouac biography and Minor Characters Born Joyce Glassman, Johnson had an on again, off again love affair with Kerouac between 1957 1959 When the relationship began, Glassman 21, had attended Barnard for four years, beginning when she was 16 but failed to graduate She was working as a secretary for a publisher and writing her first novel, for which she had received a 500 advance Kerouac, 34, had published one novel, The Town and the City and had written several other books, including On the Road which had not found publishers He had already knocked around a great deal, with two failed marriages, stints in the Merchant Marine, and travels across the country that On the Road would make famous He had the problems with alcohol and drugs that would get worse with time.When she wrote Minor Characters, Johnson looked back upon her younger life with a sense of wisdom, detachment, and loss, as she endeavors to understand her life and the Beat era The tone is wistful, sad, thoughtful, sometimes ironic, but unapologetic Concluding her memoir,Johnson writes, I m a forty seven year old woman with a permanent sense of impermanence If time were like a passage of music, you could keep going back to it till you got it right The book begins in 1945 when the Glassman family had moved to New York City Joyce Glassman s parents were Jewish immigrants of modest means Her parents had high ambitions for their daughter, with her mother urging Joyce to pursue a career as a composer, to study, and to defer involvement with young men As an adolescent, Glassman developed a double life, sneaking away from homes during the evening to attend radical and cultural gatherings in Greenwich Village Looking back on these years, Johnson describes herself as in search of Real Life , which she proceeds to define with candor Real Life was sexual Or rather it often seemed to take the form of sex This was the area of ultimate adventure, where you would dare or not dare It was much less a question of desire sex was like a forbidden castle whose name could not even be spoken around the house, so feared was its power Only with the utmost vigilance could you avoid being sucked into its magnetic field The alternative was to break into the castle and take its power for yourself The book alternates passages describing young Joyce Glassman s own life, with the parallel lives of the individuals who became formative of the Beats, including Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Glassman s story and Kerouac s delve together when Allen Ginsberg arranges a blind date, months before Kerouac achieves the fame which hastens his demise with the publication of On the Road.Johnson s book offers a beautifully described sense of place of New York City Bohemia in the years following WW II through about 1960 She describes the East Side and Greenwich Village, the bars, cafeterias, streets, and tenements where young people breaking away tried to live The portrayals of Kerouac and his books, and of people such as Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, Neal Cassady, LeRoi Jones are highly perceptive Johnson emphasizes the women who became part of the Beat movement and their frequently unhappy lives They were often shabbily treated The title Minor Characters is sometimes thought to refer to the Beat women I think it refers to the Beats as a whole Centered around Kerouac, they were a group who seemed marginal and minor at the time but proved to have cultural influence.For the most part, Johnson resists reading cultural developments from the late 1960 s and 1970 s into her memoir She seems less than fully comfortable with these developments as she remembers her life and her largely unrequited love for Jack Kerouac.For the shock value it had at the time, there is a near universal character in the story of young people and Bohemia Johnson comes to understand her parents and their hopes for her The Beat movement was a product of youthful skepticism and rejection of received standards of conformity I am not sure if a Bohemia could thrive today because of the lack of standards on which young creative individuals could push back Minor Characters is a sadly lyrical book that helped me understand Joyce Glassman, Kerouac, the Beats, and the culture in which they were formed.Robin Friedman


  5. says:

    3,5.El final se me ha hecho un poco lento, pero me ha gustado mucho c mo escribe Joyce Johnson y el retrato detallado que hace de la generaci n beat, a la que pr cticamente no conoc a.


  6. says:

    The best memoirs make you feel that you have been hanging around the same apartments, sharing subway benches, drinking bottomless cups of coffee at the same diner with someone Reading Minor Characters made me feel this way.Steeping myself in the world of the beats, a solid 15 years after I first read Kerouac and Ginsburg and after having now visited City Lights in SF and after about 4 and a half years of haunting Columbia University, I felt that becoming acquainted with Joyce wasn t unlike facing a younger version of one s self Perhaps the best chroniclers are the ones who stayed sober, cleaned up the apartment, and took out the trash To say Joyce was a muse is to really sell short her own talent and accomplishments It also sells short the beauty of a woman who so honestly displays her continued desire to be free despite all oppositions and her misgivings She wasn t impetuous she wanted life on her terms alone.Who said, I was so old then I m so much younger now Something like that I can t quite remember, but I feel that way reading this book What a remarkable woman and a truly incredible memoir.


  7. says:

    Una mujer fascinante que vive tiempos fascinantes nos deleita con la narraci n de los tiempos bohemios y locos de la generaci n Beat, hijos de la posguerra que desaf an a la vida a que les de toda su intensidad y su efervescencia, adolescentes eternos que burlan a la muerte y ba an sus decepciones en alcohol, siempre pluma en mano narrando sus aventuras y viajes son protagonistas de estas historias, por supuesto la ciudad de NY, sus bares, su Jazz, su village y Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, etc y en segundo plano aparecen dos chicas jud as la propia Joyce Glassman, narradora de sta novela y Elise Cowen, mujeres brillantes, deslumbradas por la vitalidad de estos hombres y accediendo a ser los personajes secundarios de sus vidas, enamoradas y siempre a la espera de su regreso, hombres que si acaso s lo les pueden dar la ilusi n de lo que depara una espera


  8. says:

    Menudas vidas de mierda Me encanta.


  9. says:

    Me gusta el estilo de la autora, pero no me ha atrapado la historia Creo que es un libro escrito por y para apasionados de la generaci n beat, y si lo sacas de ese nicho no tiene demasiado inter s.


  10. says:

    A very nicely written memoir that confirms that Jack Kerouac is a real prick


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Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir summary pdf Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, summary chapter 2 Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, sparknotes Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir df395f6 Jack Kerouac Allen Ginsberg William S Burroughs LeRoi Jones Theirs Are The Names Primarily Associated With The Beat Generation But What About Joyce Johnson Nee Glassman , Edie Parker, Elise Cowen, Diane Di Prima, And Dozens Of Others These Female Friends And Lovers Of The Famous Iconoclasts Are Now Beginning To Be Recognized For Their Own Roles In Forging The Beat Movement And For Their Daring Attempts To Live As Freely As Did The Men In Their Circle A Decade Before Women S LiberationTwenty One Year Old Joyce Johnson, An Aspiring Novelist And A Secretary At A New York Literary Agency, Fell In Love With Jack Kerouac On A Blind Date Arranged By Allen Ginsberg Nine Months Before The Publication Of On The Road Made Kerouac An Instant Celebrity While Kerouac Traveled To Tangiers, San Francisco, And Mexico City, Johnson Roamed The Streets Of The East Village, Where She Found Herself In The Midst Of The Cultural Revolution The Beats Had Created Minor Characters Portrays The Turbulent Years Of Her Relationship With Kerouac With Extraordinary Wit And Love And A Cool, Critical Eye, Introducing The Reader To A Lesser Known But Purely Original American Voice Her Own

  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir
  • Joyce Johnson
  • English
  • 04 July 2017
  • 9780140283570

About the Author: Joyce Johnson

Born Joyce Glassman to a Jewish family in Queens, New York, Joyce was raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just around the corner from the apartment of William S Burroughs and Joan Vollmer Burroughs Allen Ginsberg and Kerouac were frequent visitors to Burroughs apartment.At the age of 13, Joyce rebelled against her controlling parents and began hanging out in Washington Square She matri