Beat Meets East
Presentations from a Conference
The essays in this section were presented in somewhat different form at the Beat Meets East Conference, held June 2-5 at the Kehua Hotel on the campus of Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. The first of its kind, the conference brought together Beat scholars, writers and musicians from the United States, China, Thailand, Turkey and Australia to share four unforgettable days of lectures and tours co-sponsored by Sichuan University and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Professor Wen Chu-an, a renowned translator of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and Professor William Lawlor scheduled and coordinated the events. The conference presentations found an enthusiastic audience among the Sichuan University students, many of whom consider the Beats as an inspiration for the youth movement budding in China’s major cities.
The presentations published here bookend the range of subject matter discussed at the conference, which focused primarily on Beats such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder. Lucas Klein’s “Original/Translation: The Aesthetic Context of Kenneth Rexroth’s Translations of Du Fu and Li Qingzhao” assesses Beat precursor Rexroth’s translations of Chinese poets, the relation of his translations to his poetry, and the early influence of Du Fu, an eighth century Chengdu poet, on Rexroth’s work. My own “Extending the Age of Spontaneity to a New Era: Post-Beat Poets in America” portrays several largely overlooked generations of poets who have extended the Beat influence into new areas of expression.
Extending the Age of Spontaneity to a New Era: Post-Beat Poets in America by Vernon Frazer
Original/Translation: The Aesthetic Context of Kenneth Rexroth’s Translations of Du Fu and Li Qingzhao by Lucas Klein