Abstract

This essay returns us to the moment when white hipsterism was first being named as a subculture and structure of feeling and was beginning to shape the poetry and prose of writers like Diane di Prima and Norman Mailer.  I examine the differences between hipsterism in Mailer and di Prima, hoping to expand overwhelmingly masculine histories of “cool.” I also underscore the influence that new vernacular practices like hipness and camp exerted on American poetry—and U.S. culture more broadly—in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Subcultural practices, I argue, in fact constitute the quintessential avant-garde gesture of the mid to late-twentieth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 775-794
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-22
Open Access
No
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