46th out of 165 books — 146 voters
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Missing a Beat: The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim
In 1961, Beat writer Seymour Krim set Greenwich Village on its ear with a slim volume of essays that featured an unleashed voice, a brash title, and a foreword by Norman Mailer. James Baldwin called Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer an extraordinary volume. Saul Bellow published an excerpt in his journal The Noble Savage, and Mailer saluted Krim s jazzy prose with its shift ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published March 18th 2010 by Syracuse University Press
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Too much editors' commentary versus actual writing for my taste, but the essential of Krim's work (which are his essays) are here. Krim's best in small doses and his "be-bop" style stretched past say 5000 words can be deadening to somebody just looking for a straightforward read. But he amongst all his "beat" contemporaries seemed in possession of a mind that would allow him to see past so many cultural cliches. Compare him favorably to the likes of Norman Mailer whose "White Negro" period ...more
Having never heard of him, I came across Krim's essay "For My Brothers and Sisters in the Failure Business" in Lopate's anthology Art of the Personal Essay. I'm a big fan of essays, especially those with anarchic voices, and Krim's is jolting, wondrous piece. I love discovering long forgotten but talented writers like Krim.
A machine gun mind firing observations. If you are interested in the '50's counterculture Mr. Krim gives it to you straight in observations proven out by the test of time and written naturally in the incisive, rhythmic style that would later be known as beat.