- Title Pages
- A Prologue
- Chapter 1 A Usable Past
- Chapter 2 The Magic of Words
- Chapter 3 Whatever World There Would Be
- Chapter 4 The Stale Bread of Dedication
- Chapter 5 A Weekend in July
- Chapter 6 A Kind of Beatness
- Chapter 7 Neal & Co.
- Chapter 8 This Particular Kind of Madness
- Chapter 9 Angelic Visions
- Chapter 10 In the Temple of the Gods
- Chapter 11 A Torrent of Words
- Chapter 12 The Liveitup Kid
- Chapter 13 Perfect Fools
- Chapter 14 The Rising Tide of Fame
- Chapter 15 What Am I Doing Here?
- Chapter 16 The Horn
- Chapter 17 Too-Late Words
- Chapter 18 A Sweet Attention
- Chapter 19 To the Edge of Eros
- Chapter 20 Gypsying
- Chapter 21 A Turn of the Circle
- Chapter 22 Gone in October
- Chapter 23 On a Porch in Boulder
- Chapter 24 Final Chorus
What Am I Doing Here?
What Am I Doing Here?
- (p.259) Chapter 15 What Am I Doing Here?
- University Press of Mississippi
Less than a month after the publication of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, John Clellon Holmes finished his new jazz novel, titled The Horn. By this time, he and Kerouac were already the object of strong media interest in connection with the Beat phenomenon, and also began to reap some of its more obvious rewards. Holmes was offered by Esquire much more money than he used to receive to write an essay explaining the Beat Generation to the magazine’s upscale readers, while Kerouac was busy talking to interviewers to answer the same questions. The “Beat frenzy” sweeping over the two novelists had surfaced at a poetry reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco on October 7, 1955, with Allen Ginsberg reading the first part of Howl. There were efforts to belittle the Beats, including that of journalist Herb Caen, who coined the word “Beatnik” in his San Francisco Chronicle column on April 2, 1958.
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