The Living Underground: A Prose Anthology

The Living Underground: A Prose Anthology

The Living Underground: A Prose Anthology

The Living Underground: A Prose Anthology

Excerpt

The writers in this anthology are all part of a "movement" I call The Invisible Generation.

We weren't "Beats," although we all had great affinities to The Beat Generation. It's tempting to call us The Hippy Generation because we were kind of "hippyish," if not (in the Normal Mailer--THE WHITE NEGRO--sense) "hip." Our drugs were soft, our world-view non-linear, non-occidental. We were psychedelic, Amerindian, Asian. We were visionary but not imperialistic, not so much Dharma Bums as San Pedro Cactus Prophets. We lived inside the Great American Dream Machine but always dreaming our own alternative dreams.

I first came up with the term "Invisible Generation" back in 1979 when I founded a little magazine at the University of Santa Catarina in Brazil that centered around the writers in this anthology (and my poetry anthology and critical work that form the companion volumes in this LIVING UNDERGROUND series). The title of the mag was ILHA DO DESTERRO: A JOURNAL CENTERING AROUND THE INVISIBLE GENERATION, and in the first issue I defined the parameters of The Invisible Generation:

Charlie Plymell really first defined The Invisible Generation for me (Baltimore, Winter of 1976): "Since Ginsberg, Kerouac, Cage, Cunningham . . . they've got this Media Hype, keep front-stage center, there's no room for any-one/-thing NEW. . . ." So the generation after the Beats remains invisible, hidden in the giant Beat Shadow. . . .

Plymell himself is kind of a neither fish nor fowl, neither Beat nor Invisible, in-between character, but other authors in this anthology like Micheline, Winans and even Bennett (or, at times, myself) took the torch from the Beats and personalized it into our own private menorahs.

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