The Schmooze

Where Are All the Jewish Beatniks?

I had skin in the game when Bill Morgan’s “The Typewriter is Holy: The Complete Uncensored History of the Beat Generation” (Simon & Schuster) was published a month ago. With a title like that, it would surely undermine the premise of my own just released Beat book, “Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim.”

What lousy timing! I argued that Seymour Krim had been dropped from the Beat canon — he’s nowhere to be found in the many anthologies and histories of the past 20 years — because his work is too Jewish. He’s too concerned with Jewish identity, too much in love with the streetwise Jewish intellectual poet Milton Klonsky, too bugged by and too renegade about the whole Jewish-Black nexus. So even before I got my hands on “Typewriter” I visited Amazon to get a look at the index and wade through the long list of Kerouac entries to find the feared and damning Krim, Seymour, that would sink me.

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Where Are All the Jewish Beatniks?

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