On the Beats: Iain Sinclair

Filed under: Non-fiction

Iain Sinclair on the Beats at the Hawthornden Lecture, introduced by Deborah Moggach

In 1948, the novelist and poet Jack Kerouac coined the name ‘Beat Generation’ for an underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York. In the decade that followed, works such as Kerouac’s On the Road, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (the last two sparkling obscenity trials that ultimately revolutionised American publishing) formed a distinct ‘Beat’ literature. Iain Sinclair has been described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘one of our most dazzling stylists’, and American Smoke, published this month, completes the trilogy he began with Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire and continued with Ghost Milk. In a talk introduced by novelist and screenwriter Deborah Moggach, he conducts a memory interrogation, touching on the past meetings, lost archives, chance discoveries, volcano obsessions and fated decisions of the Beats.

We are grateful to the Hawthornden Charitable Trust for sponsoring this event.

Recorded on Wednesday 6 November 2013.


Related RSL Fellows

Iain Sinclair 2009
Deborah Moggach 1999