The cool school Writing from America's hip underground

Book - 2013

In this anthology of memoirs, poems, novels, comedy routines, letters, essays, and song lyrics, O'Brien provides a kaleidoscopic guided tour through the subterranean scenes and tribes that gave birth to cool: the worlds of jazz, of disaffected postwar youth, of the racially and sexually excluded, of outlaws and drug users creating their own dissident networks.

Saved in:

2nd Floor Show me where

1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 814.5408/Cool Checked In
New York : Library of America c2013.
Physical Description
xix, 471 p. ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references.
Other Authors
Glenn O'Brien (-)
  • Introduction /
  • by Glenn O'Brien
  • If you can't make money /
  • Mezz Mezzrow, Bernard Wolfe
  • Miles: the autobiography [excerpt] /
  • Miles Davis
  • Soirée in Hollywood /
  • Henry Miller
  • I paid my dues [excerpt] /
  • Babs Gonzales
  • Heroin /
  • Art Pepper
  • Spencer's pad /
  • Herbert Huncke
  • A diabolist /
  • Carl Solomon
  • Letter to Jack Kerouac, March 7, 1947 (Kansas City, Mo.) /
  • Neal Cassady
  • A portrait of the hipster /
  • Anatole Broyard
  • Hamlet, or There is something wrong with everyone /
  • Delmore Schwartz
  • Who walk in darkness [excerpt] /
  • Chandler Brossard
  • You're too hip, baby /
  • Terry Southern
  • Twisted /
  • Annie Ross
  • The Naz /
  • Lord Buckley
  • Parker's mood /
  • King Pleasure
  • Memoirs of a beatnik /
  • Diane Di Prima
  • The origins of the beat generation /
  • Jack Kerouac
  • Minor characters [excerpt] /
  • Joyce Johnson
  • Marriage /
  • Gregory Corso
  • Walking Parker home /
  • Bob Kaufman
  • Lesterparis59 /
  • Lester Young, François Postif
  • The white Negro /
  • Norman Mailer
  • The day Lady died /
  • Frank O'Hara
  • The screamers /
  • Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)
  • Cain's book [excerpt] /
  • Alexander Trocchi
  • The ballad of the sad young men /
  • Fran Landesman
  • The pop imagination /
  • John Clellon Holmes
  • Making it! /
  • Seymour Krim
  • Dictionary of hip words and phrases /
  • Del Close
  • Pills and shit: the drug scene /
  • Lenny Bruce
  • The Billy Graham rally /
  • Mort Sahl
  • Chronicles: Volume One [excerpt] /
  • Bob Dylan
  • The perfect filmic appositeness of Maria Montez /
  • Jack Smith
  • Last words /
  • William S. Burroughs
  • Siobhan McKenna group-grope /
  • Ed Sanders
  • Nog [excerpt] /
  • Rudolph Wurlitzer
  • The process [excerpt] /
  • Brion Gysin
  • Mumbo jumbo [excerpt] /
  • Ishmael Reed
  • Frenchy and Cuban Pete /
  • Bobbie Louise Hawkins
  • The Kool-Aid wino /
  • Richard Brautigan
  • a: a novel [excerpt] /
  • Andy Warhol
  • Photos of an artist as a young man /
  • Gerard Malanga
  • Dino [excerpt] /
  • Nick Tosches
  • Fear and loathing in Las Vegas [excerpt] /
  • Hunter S. Thompson
  • Luckies vs. Camels: Who will win? /
  • Richard Meltzer
  • How I became one of the invisible /
  • David Rattray
  • After Claude [excerpt] /
  • Iris Owens
  • How to succceed in torture without really trying /
  • Lester Bangs
  • Blank generation /
  • Richard Hell
  • Madame Realism asks what's natural about painting? /
  • Lynne Tillman
  • Abduction and rape
  • Highway 31
  • 1969 /
  • Cookie Mueller
  • Roy Cohn /
  • Gary Indiana
  • The velvet well /
  • Richard Prince
  • Beatnik executives /
  • Glenn O'Brien
  • Sinatra walks out /
  • Emily XYZ
  • America /
  • Eric Bogosian
  • A modern man /
  • George Carlin.
Review by Booklist Review

O'Brien has been on the cutting edge since his days at Andy Warhol's Interview and through stints at Rolling Stone, Spin, High Times, and GQ, where he's the Style Guy. In his rev-it-up introduction to this brilliantly conceived, must-have Library of America anthology, he orients us to what the original hipster outlaw, misfit, rebel, heretic was all about and how hipster language embodies radical points of view and ways of being. O'Brien also tells us, Cool is like grace. It can be sold but not bought. So who are the exemplars of cool according to O'Brien? The Beats contingent is here, of course, and so are establishment-blasting comedians Lord Buckley, Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and George Carlin. Indelible passages from the autobiographies of jazz musicians Mezz Mezzrow, Miles Davis, and Art Pepper cast light on the dangers of all-out creativity. Norman Mailer's knockout manifesto, The White Negro, is as riling now as it was in 1957, as is Seymour Krim's electrifying 1961 riff on making it. With Ishmael Reed, Nick Tosches, Lester Bangs, and dozens more, this is one red-hot book of cool.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Library Journal Review

In his percussive introduction, editor O'Brien ("The Style Guy" column, GQ) writes "cool.can be sold but not bought." This collection proves his point. Apparently, O'Brien has been persuaded that hipsters have sold out, and the current crop lack the same substance and stature of past generations. Collected within are excerpts of fiction, criticism, theory, biography, poetry, and performance mostly from mid-20th-century writers, artists, and musicians. Illuminated by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, readers bounce with Miles Davis and Mezz Mezzrow over to Henry Miller and Frank O'Hara, linger with Lenny Bruce and Diane DiPrima by way of artist Andy Warhol and Gerard Malanga, then over to Lester Bangs and Richard Hell, before heading for the door with Cookie Mueller and George Carlin, with plenty of lesser-known artists along the way. It's truly a wealth of fascinating, diverting reads, but O'Brien's selections do inadvertently raise the question: Where do we find the hip writers who aren't overwhelmingly white, male, and American? Volume 2? Verdict O'Brien offers an entertaining and enlightening anthology, whose shortcomings may be excused owing to the nebulousness and irony of its guiding conceit: hip. Recommended to cultural historians with literary tastes and especially to fans of the early jazz, Beat generation, hippie, and punk eras. Also for wannabe hipsters and those looking to brush up on their artistic roots.-Chris Wieman, Univ. of the Sciences Libs., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.