Journal of Beat Studies

Articles

Vol. 5, 2017

In Honor of Ann Charters
In any assessment of Ann Charters's momentous and monumental contributions to Beat Studies, her biography of Jack Kerouac and her shaping of the Beat canon through her anthologies necessarily take pride of place. We all have well-thumbed, fully annotated,...
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Awakening the Eye: Robert Frank's American Cinema
Awakening the Eye: Robert Frank's American Cinema George Kouvaros University of Minnesota Press, 2015Robert Frank has been taking and publishing photographs for an astonishing 70 years, sometimes on commission but usually on nobody's behalf but his own....
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Tools of the Trade: Testimonial for Ann Charters
Familiar with Ann Charters's seminal biography of Jack Kerouac from an early stage in my study of Beat literature, I have found other aspects of her wide-ranging scholarship to have been of greater importance to my subsequent concentration on the West...
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Testimonials: On Ann Charters
Ann Charters has been an indefatigable pioneer of the new in American letters, exploring the Beat phenomenon almost from its public inception. In Berkeley, California, in 1956, on an arranged blind date with Peter Orlovsky when she was in her junior...
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Testimonials
IntroductionTo help map the landscape of Ann Charters's contributions to Beat Studies and her work's demarcation of the field itself, we solicited testimonials from Beat Studies scholars, members of the Beat Studies Association, and contributors to the...
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Ambiguous Borderlands: Shadow Imagery in Cold War American Culture
Ambiguous Borderlands: Shadow Imagery in Cold War American Culture Erik Mortenson Southern Illinois University Press, 2016A paradox of Beat Studies is that labeling something "Beat literature" at once ascribes its significance as Beat while simultaneously...
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Testimonials: Tribute to Ann Charters
I'll admit I was slow to recognize Ann. Predictably enough, I had begun with her Kerouac biography, which I read around 1980. I didn't realize its significance as a landmark in taking the Beats seriously, perhaps because it was competing for my attention...
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Introduction to the Republication of Jack Kerouac: A Bibliography by Ann Charters
Including Never-Before Published Letters by Charters Documenting Her Only Meeting With KerouacThe Journal of Beat Studies is proud to republish Ann Charters's long outof- print landmark work, Jack Kerouac: A Bibliography (Phoenix Bookshop 1967), revised...
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Testimonials: There at the Get-Go: Ann Charters
Ann? Simply a luminary.Who, among Beat scholars and anthologists, has been as much there as she? Present at the follow-up 6 Gallery reading, early to Kerouac, and responsible for ensuing and hugely important shelves of Beat scholarship. All of us, eyes...
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Ann Charters: The Mother of Us All
In the beginning, there was only Ann Charters's biography of Jack Kerouac, plus Tim Hunt's Kerouac's Crooked Road, and two essays in John Tytell's Naked Angels. Everyone but Kerouac was still alive; his books were out of print, and expensive first editions...
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Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl' Generation
Beat Drama: Playwrights and Performances of the 'Howl' Generation Edited by Deborah R. Geis Bloomsbury, 2016Deborah Geis's position in her adventurous and illuminating anthology is that drama has been a vital though neglected genre in the rapidly expanding...
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To Think of Her Writing Awash in Light: Lyrical Essays on Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger and Anne Waldman
To Think of Her Writing Awash in Light: Lyrical Essays on Dorothy Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Hettie Jones, Joanne Kyger and Anne Waldman Linda Russo Subito Press, 2016Linda Russo's new book places avant-garde poetry in a new light, and as the ambiguously-worded...
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Ann Charters Testimonial
Ann Charters was the sole scholar I wanted to work with, so the only graduate program I applied to during 1993 was the master's of arts in English at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. It was the first of a series of reckless moves that have characterized...
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Ann Charters: Appreciation
In the late 1970s, I was infatuated with Jack Kerouac. I read and reread Ann Charters's biography and began to see the man behind the books: a dedicated, inspired, professional writer. The biography was one of the few hardback books among my tattered...
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An Appreciation of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 16, the Beats: Literary Bohemians in Postwar America
Well before an organization for Beat Studies was conceived and named, Ann Charters almost single-handedly created the field with her early foundational works: the first Kerouac biography (1973) and the Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB) volume devoted...
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Vol. 4, 2016

Letter from the Editors
Ten years ago, the Beat Studies Association (B SA) was formed, and five years ago, the BSA entered into a relationship with Pace University Press to publish the first-ever scholarly journal devoted to Beat Generation writers and art. It is with gratitude...
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William S. Burroughs, Michel Serres, and the Word Parasite
The bit of noise, the small random element, transforms one system or one order into another. To reduce this otherness to contradiction is to reduce everything to violence and war. -Michel SerresMuch critical work has been devoted to William S. Burroughs's...
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The Beats and Independent Film: A Different Cast of Characters
Soon after Allen Ginsberg returned to the United States in 1963, he wrote a piece for the Times Literary Supplement describing what was "happening now" in New York following his three-year absence: "Amazingly enough, MOVIES . . . I found on my return...
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Allen Ginsberg's Ambivalent Whitman
Where are we going, Walt Whitman?-Allen Ginsberg, "A Supermarket in California"Where is Allen Ginsberg going with Walt Whitman? The question at the start of the final stanza of "A Supermarket in California" is deceptively simple, suggesting the poem's...
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Gary Snyder, Counterculture, and National Identity
... as Paleolithicyogin, must try hunting again-eat venison and acorn bread in the Sierra.-Gary Snyder, The Selected LettersCounterculture and the Outsider's Paradox"Counterculture" is a widely-used word that covers many circumstances. Christopher Gair...
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INTERVIEW with ROCHELLE OWENS
IntroductionThe American poet and playwright Rochelle Owens's enduring literary career started with writing trend-setting plays for the nascent Off-Off-Broadway scene in the 1950s and 1960s, and publishing over 18 avant-garde poetry and prose works since...
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Crowded by Beauty: The Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen
Crowded by Beauty: The Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen David Schneider (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015)This is an important book: an important book for San Francisco Renaissance and Beat Studies; an important book for American Buddhist...
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Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments
Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments Elise Cowen, edited by Tony Trigilio (Boise: Ahsahta Press, 2014)Derek Jarman on finishing reading a biography of Allen Ginsberg: "I do love Howl, but I couldn't help thinking [the Beat phenomenon, the bio] was all a...
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Conversations with Ken Kesey
Conversations with Ken Kesey Edited by Scott F. Parker (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2014)The University Press of Mississippi's Conversations series, which compiles previously published interviews with world-renowned writers, has, over the...
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The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village
The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village John Strausbaugh (New York: Ecco/HarperCollins, 2013)Among the strange details that emerged after Philip Seymour Hoffman's untimely death was the cost...
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Call Me Burroughs: A Life
Call Me Burroughs: A Life Barry Miles (New York: Twelve Books, 2013)Barry Miles has written a landmark biography of William S. Burroughs; it will no doubt become an important reference for scholars and critics for a long time. A factually detailed narrative-perhaps...
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The Soft Machine: The Restored Text/The Ticket That Exploded: The Restored Text/Nova Express: The Restored Text
The Soft Machine: The Restored Text William S. Burroughs, edited and with an introduction by Oliver Harris (New York: Grove Press, 2014)The Ticket That Exploded: The Restored Text William S. Burroughs, edited and with an introduction by Oliver Harris...
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The Beat Index 2013-16
"The Beat Index" provides a chronicle of recent scholarship, including dissertations, in the field of Beat Studies. The artists and other Beat Generation figures represented here are core to the movement or are associated with thencontemporary and complementary...
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Vol. 3, 2014

Entering the "Gate of Nondualism": Gary Snyder's "On Vulture Peak" and Mahayana Shunyata
In 1956, soon after Gary Snyder left the United States to study Zen Buddhism in Japan, Jack Kerouac, Philip Whalen, and Snyder himself each composed three important multi-section, mid-length American poetic explorations of Mahäyäna Buddhist philosophy:...
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John Wieners in the Matrix of Massachusetts Institutions: A Psychopoeticgeography
Guy Debord and the Situationists, writing and mayhemming around Paris at approximately the same time as John Wieners was emerging into poetic mayhem in Boston/North Carolina/San Francisco/Boston (1950s-1960s), made a poetics out of urban wanderings that...
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Pilgrims to Elsewhere: Reflections on Writings
Pilgrims to Elsewhere: Reflections on Writings by Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Bob Kaufman and Others. Gregory Stephenson Afterward by Bent Sorensen. (Roskilde: EyeCorner Press, 2013).Well known in the area of Beat studies, Gregory Stephenson,...
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Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the "Weird Cult"
Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the "Weird Cult" David S. Wills (Beatdom Books, 2013).In 1984, I asked William Burroughs, "What is the connection between Dianetics and the cut-ups?" and I have been waiting a long time for someone to explain his...
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Text and Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture
Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture Simon Warner (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)A comprehensive account of the many connections between the Beat Generation and rock music is long overdue, and the expansive nature of the topic is clear...
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The Beats: A Very Short Introduction/The Beat Generation: A Beginner's Guide
The Beats: A Very Short Introductionby David SterrittThe Beat Generation: A Beginner's Guideby Christopher GairShort cut guides clamor for our attention: "10 Easy Ways To Lose Weight," "Five Investments the 1RS Doesn't Want You To Know," "Lower Your...
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The Enigmatic Relationship of Poets Isabella Gardner and Gregory Corso
Hidden in The Ohio Review we find a letter by the poet James Wright written to his protégé, poet-friend and look-alike Roland Flint.One evening, a few years ago, I sat close enough to a certain Gregorius, a poet, to smell him.It is none of my business...
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Letter from the Editors
We are excited and proud to state that this is the third volume of the Journal of Beat Studies. As many of you no doubt realize, initiating a scholarly journal, especially in the humanities in the early twenty-first century, is a challenge on multiple...
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The St. Louis Clique: Burroughs, Kammerer, and Carr
"The whole thing really begins in St. Louis." That's what Jack Kerouac said in a 1960 interview about the beginnings of what was later known as the "Beat Generation" (Aronowitz). Most accounts of the origin of the Beats focus on the meeting of Kerouac...
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Vol. 2, 2013

Letter from the Editors
We are pleased to present the second issue of the Journal of Beat Studies, which includes a special section on Beat writers and Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Since its founding in 1974 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as the Naropa Institute, which...
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"On a Confrontation at a Buddhist Seminary": Naropa, Guru Devotion, and a Poetics of Resistance
I. "You go against the grain for the benefit of others"Radical individualism, autonomy, candor, and populism are crucial to Naropa University's experimental tradition and to its influence on Beat Generation literature. Naropa, of course, offered for...
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Trungpa, Naropa, and the Outrider Road: An Interview with Anne Waldman
John Whalen-Bridge met with Anne Waldman in his office above the Allen Ginsberg Library on August 11,2009, while he was visiting Naropa University, in Boulder, Colorado, as a Lenz Fellow. The campus was just beginning to settle after that year's Summer...
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Did Beatniks Kill John F. Kennedy?
Section IAt the 1960 Republican Party convention held in Chicago, former President Herbert Hoover, 85 years of age and in his sixth decade of attending these conventions, took to the stage accompanied by the tune of "Happy Days Are Here Again" and declared...
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Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems
Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems. Edited by Mariléne Phipps-Kettlewell. (New York: Library of America, 2012).'All this creation / Created to fall'The 2012 publication of Jack Kerouac's Collected Poems as a volume in the Library of America is cause for celebration:...
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Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz to Micropoetries
Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz to Micropoetries. Maria Damon (Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 2012)Maria Damon is well known in the field of Beat studies for creating a more accurate history of the Beat movement by recovering black...
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Rub out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1959-1974
Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1959-1974 Edited by Bill Morgan. (New York Penguin, 2012)Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1959-1974, the second volume of Burroughs' letters, edited by Bill Morgan, presents...
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The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac
The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac by Joyce Johnson (New York: Viking, 2012)Joyce Johnson is a figure long familiar to both specialists and general readers with an interest in the Beat era. Her immediate claim to fame, her romantic...
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Review of the Philosophy of the Beats
Review of The Philosophy of the Beats Edited by Sharin N. Elkholy, and a survey of the field. (Lexington, Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press, 2012)The concept of the collection The Philosophy of the Beats is a provocative approach to Beat studies...
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Vol. 1, 2012

Letter from the Editors
To our readers,The Journal of Beat Studies is devoted exclusively to the scholarly criticism of Beat Generation writing and writers. Our mandate is to provide readers with intelligent and penetrating criticism across the range of Beat writing, including...
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"A Trap Well-Enough Woven of Words": The Many Worlds of Brion Gysin's the Process
British-Canadian writer, artist, and lifelong expatriate Brion Gysin is best known to Beat audiences as a one-time resident of 9 rue Gît-le-Coeur, the famed "Beat Hotel" that was occupied at various points by William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Peter...
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"Hard Blows of Love (Pick Up on It like a Horn, Man, & Blow)": Stuart Perkoff's "Round about Midnite" and Community Formation in Venice West
Donald Allen, editor oí The New American Poetry ( 1 960), the most influential anthology of poetry published in the United States since World War II, alluded in a brief introduction to the enthusiastic association between that volume's contributors and...
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"Blow as Deep as You Want to Blow": Time, Textuality, and Jack Kerouac's Development of Spontaneous Prose
By and large, those of us who take Jack Kerouac seriously view him as an experimental writer, and this is so whether we locate his experimentalism in the April 1 95 1 scroll of On the Road or in Visions of Cody, Dr. Sax, and other work that followed....
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Sutras & Bardos: Essays & Interviews on Allen Ginsberg, the Kerouac School, Anne Waldman, the Postbeat Poets & the New Demotics
Sutras & Bardos: Essays & Interviews on Allen Ginsberg, the Kerouac School, Anne Waldman, The Postbeat Poets & the New Demotics.Jim Cohn (Boulder, CO: Museum of American Poetics Publications, 2011)It is a cliché, of course, to say "the Beats...
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East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg
East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg.Gordon Ball (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2011)Any Allen Ginsberg scholar is aware of Gordon Ball's already considerable contributions, specifically his Allen Verbatim, literally the first collection of interviews,...
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The Cubalogues: Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana
The Cubalogues: Beat Writers in Revolutionary Havana. Todd F. Tietchen (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2010)"... Now if in Korea we hear there is continual killing, now if we rightly have no longer faith in our nations, now if we tire...
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Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence
Capturing the Beat Moment: Cultural Politics and the Poetics of Presence. Erik Mortensen (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2011)"Being as Now has been reinvented,I have devised a new nowEntering the real NowAt lastWhich is now."- Allen...
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Queer (25Th Anniversary Edition)
Queer (25 Anniversary Edition). William S. Burroughs, Edited with an introduction by Oliver Harris (New York, NY: Penguin, 2010)In 2010, Penguin Books published a new edition of William Burroughs' Queer. Edited by Oliver Harris, the 2010 edition commemorates...
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Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters. Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford (New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 20 10.)Their correspondence lasted two decades, carried across continents, and endured deaths and divorces, wars and revolutions. But...
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Modern American Counter Writing: Beats, Outriders, Ethnics
Modern American Counter Writing: Beats, Outriders, Ethnics. A. Robert Lee (Routledge, 2010)Modern American Counter Writing: Beats, Outriders, Ethnics by A. Robert Lee is an impressive product of many years of scholarship on post- World War II dissident...
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Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 60 Anni Di Pittura (60 Years of Painting)
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 60 Anni di Pittura (60 Years of Painting). Edited by Giada Diano and Elisa Polimeni (Silvana Editoriale, 2010)The enduring success of Howl and Other Poems and A Coney Island of the Mind perhaps overshadows Lawrence Ferlinghetti...
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Brother-Souls: John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, and the Beat Generation
Brother-Souls: John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, and the Beat Generation. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2010)In February 1958, John Clellon Holmes wondered in his journal why he was not as widely known as Jack Kerouac...
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The Etiquette of Freedom: Gary Snyder, Jim Harrison, and the Practice of the Wild
The Etiquette of Freedom: Gary Snyder, Jim Harrison, and The Practice of the Wild. Edited by Paul Ebenkamp (Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2010)The wild requires that we learn the terrain, nod to all the plants and animals and birds, ford the streams and...
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Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted: An American Poetics/Beat Attitudes: On the Roads to Beatitude for Post-Beat Writers, Dharma Bums, and Cultural Activists
Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted: An American Poetics. Rob Wilson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2009)Beat Attitudes: On the Roads to Beatitude for Post-Beat Writers, Dharma Bums, and Cultural Activists. Rob Sean Wilson (Santa Cruz, CA: New Pacific...
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Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats
Kerouac at Bat: Fantasy Sports and the King of the Beats. Isaac Gewirtz (The New York Public Library, 2009)Sports have always played a central role in defining and contesting what it means to be American. During the first half of the twentieth century...
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