Writer

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And the beat goes on

The Beat Generation began in the late 1940s as a group of friends who refused to conform. They were a table of writers - Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs - who had grand ideas about sexuality, drugs, materialism, individualism, and life in general.

It was about being a free spirit, living a life rich with experience, seeking adventure, and embracing the different. And they wrote as though their words sang jazz.

Try some beat slang in OPUS Bar this month:

Dixie fried = drunk

Claws sharp = all knowing about everything

Quail hunting = picking up ladies

Jungled up = your living arrangements

A shape in a drape = a well-dressed person

Making the scene = in the right place at the right time

Back seat bingo = car makeouts

Last week, Kill Your Darlings, a film about Allen Ginsberg’s role in the generation as a beat poet, was released into theatres. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr, Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, and Ben Foster as William Burroughs, the film articulates how a young man turns into a literary figure.

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” ~ Allen Ginsberg

WATCH THE TRAILER

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Spellbound by sentence

She is one of Canada’s most treasured gems. Literary empress, Margaret Atwood has been wooing the world with words since The Handmaid’s Tale was awarded several times over and recognized globally as a notable science fiction novel in 1985.

Her storytelling is daring. It provokes lumps to form in throats and tongues to lick lips. She caresses words, cajoling them into bold statements and poetic sentences.

Here are a few quotes that seem to make time stop in its tracks…

“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.”

“Romance takes place in the middle distance. Romance is looking in at yourself through a window clouded with dew. Romance means leaving things out: where life grunts and shuffles, romance only sighs.”

“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.”

“The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.”

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

“You can think clearly only with your clothes on.”

Atwood’s latest book, MaddAddam, was released this year.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider