How is the literature of the Beat Generation considered in the academia, by literature experts?
For instance, is it considered as a major movement, or a minor one? Kerouac wanted to become the new Proust: are his writings seen as good as Proust’s?
The Beat Generation was a literary subculture movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized by Silent Generationers in the 1950s, better known as Beatniks. The central elements of Beat culture are the rejection of standard narrative values, making a spiritual quest, the exploration of American and Eastern religions, the rejection of economic materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration.
Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch (1959), and Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature.