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"Do You Have a Band?"Poetry and Punk Rock in New York City$
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Daniel Kane

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162975

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162975.001.0001

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Richard Hell, Genesis: Grasp, and the Making of the Blank Generation

Richard Hell, Genesis: Grasp, and the Making of the Blank Generation

(p.90) Four Richard Hell, Genesis: Grasp, and the Making of the Blank Generation
"Do You Have a Band?"

Daniel Kane

Columbia University Press

From his early days in the Neon Boys through the Voidoid’s Blank Generation, Hell seeded references to Nerval, Rimbaud, Artaud, and other writers into his lyrics. While the influence of French literature on Hell’s musical output is fairly well documented, however, what is not investigated sufficiently is how, like a number of the musicians considered here, Hell’s love for French romantic, symbolist and surrealist literature coincided with an increasing attraction to the chirpy poetics of sociability then dominant in New York’s literary avant-gardes. Beginning with an in-depth reading of Hell’s editorship of a Lower East Side-based literary magazine Genesis : Grasp, this chapter moves on to explore how the St. Mark’s poets’ critical engagement with seriousness as a mode informed Hell’s literary and musical tastes. Hell would never read poetry or listen, sing and play music in such a way as to presuppose solemnity, intensity and passion were prima facie good things.

Keywords:   Richard Hell, Television, Blank Generation, Andrew Wylie, Genesis: Grasp, Richard Hell & the Voidoids

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