The Support of the Mysteries: A Look at the Literary Prophets of the Beat Middle Class. Paul Breslow.
The Support of the Mysteries: A Look at the Literary Prophets of the Beat Middle Class

The Support of the Mysteries: A Look at the Literary Prophets of the Beat Middle Class

New York, NY: Perth Pamphlets, 1960. First Edition. Stapled Wrappers. "What accounts for the beatnik enthusiasm is the mood of the middle-class public and the social situation in which it finds itself. It is the argument here that it is that public to which the term "beat" is most appropriately applied, that most of us in the moderately educated middle class are beatniks and that in the contemporary cesspool of American political life the Beat middle class is unpleasantly confined to a petty and confusing consolation for its social anxieties in a search for an undefinable, unsatisfying, irrelevant, mystical salvation." (pg. 4) A vintage pamphlet by Paul Breslow, about whom we know very little as he was apparently not a full-time writer & authored this Jeremiad to vent his concerns about contemporary society. Three American writers are the focus of his pamphlet- James Gould Cozzens, Jack Kerouac & J.D. Salinger. Only Kerouac would we now consider a bona fide member of the Beat Generation (indeed its Founding Father), though Breslow somewhat convincingly argues that the other two, especially of course Salinger, would be inspiring to the "Beat Middle Class" for whom the phenomenon of the Beat Generation was by this time (1960) being appropriated & absorbed by the controlling culture & media. It is easy to roll our eyes at Breslow's screed from the current perspective, & he certainly does indulge in dyspeptic reactionary criticism ("Kerouac does not admit that his hipsters are simple barbarians looking for fun. While Dean Moriarty, the psychopathic hero of On the Road, is said to be "simply a youth tremendously excited by life,"...(he) lies, cheats, steals, deserts a large number of women (some of them married to him), drives recklessly, drinks excessively and is given to shouting things like "Whooee!"...", pgs. 8-9). But Breslow does acknowledge the societal malaise that the Beats rebelled against (see first quote above) & warns that the Beat "posture" was being appropriated as above like another bone thrown to the disaffected middle class to pacify it. In any case, this piece is exemplary of a contemporary "square" trying to grapple, sometimes rather thoughtfully, with the "Beatnik" phenomenon, its influence on the larger society & vice-versa. Pamphlet-chapbook in stapled wrappers, copyrighted 1960 & 1959 by Breslow. A very collectible relic; of great interest to Beat Generation scholars. In good-to-near-fine condition with moderate rubbing, scratching, creasing & spotting to front, back covers & stapled spine; more serious of same esp. at/near lower edge of front cover; area of tape repair & residue at lower edge & corner of back cover; staples in process of rusting with slight bleeding at interior; moderate rubbing, browning & spotting to edges of text block. Interior near-fine with slight rusting noted above; creasing esp. at lower, inner corners of page leaves; smaller creases & bumps at edges & other corners of same. Good- Near Fine. [Item #3653]

Price: $40.00