The Cool School: Writings from America’s Hip Underground

Anatole Broyard:

“As he was the illegitament son of the Lost Generation, the hipster was really nowhere. And, just as amputees often seem to localize their strongest sensations in the missing limb, so the hipster longed, from the very beginning, to be somewhere.”

“Since articulateness is a condition for, if not actually a cause of, anxiety, the hipster relieved his anxiety by disarticulating himself. He cut the world down to size.”

“There were no neutral words in this vocabulary, it was put up or shut up, a purely polemical language in which every word had a job of evaluation as well as designation. These evaluations were absolute; the hipster banished all comparatives. Every thing was dichotomously said, gone, out of this world of nowhere. Sad, beat, or a drag.”

“Carrying his language and his new philosophy like concealed weapons, the hipster set out to conquer the world.”

 

Read The Cool School: Writings from America’s Hip Underground, edited by Glenn O’Brien