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Missing a Beat
The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim

Edited and with an Introduction by Mark Cohen

Foreword by Dan Wakefield

Cloth $29.95    |    978-0-8156-0948-3    |    2010

"Seymour Krim: Never heard of him? Start by reading the book cover to cover. If you know Seymour Krim, the collection of ‘pieces,’ a compendium of his grand kvetches, will remind you of a true indispensable American individual."—American Book Review

Best of the University Presses: Missing a Beat
As time recedes, deconstructions of the works of such Beat Generation writers as William Burroughs, Allan Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac continue unabated. But one prominent writer of the era, Seymour Krim, seems to have slipped through the literary cracks. Author Mark Cohen attempts to set the record straight in his new book, gathering a collection of 18 essays Krim published from 1958 to 1988 in such publications as Village Voice, New York Magazine, and the New York Times. In them he "pioneered a new style of subjective and personal reporting to write about the American scene from a Jewish angle." Cohen calls Krim’s style "aggressively unacademic." Mark Cohen, who lives in San Francisco, wrote Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839—1943.—Steve Goddard, History Wire

"This collection not only restores to print the heart of Krim’s achievement, but balances it out with lesser-known pieces that show his judicious lucidity, side-by-side with his manic melancholy exuberance. And Mark Cohen has done an excellent job of placing Krim in an historical and literary context."—Phillip Lopate, editor of The Art of the Personal Essay

"Mark Cohen’s anthology resurrects Seymour Krim’s lost or little-known work. It reminds old fans of his extraordinary style and wit, and introduces a younger generation to an American original. I’m delighted to see Krim’s writing back in print and accessible to readers once again."—Jonah Raskin, author of American Scream: Allen Ginsbergs "Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation

In 1961, Beat writer Seymour Krim set Greenwich Village on its ear with a slim volume of essays that featured an unleashed voice, a brash title, and a foreword by Norman Mailer. James Baldwin called Views of a Nearsighted Cannoneer an "extraordinary volume." Saul Bellow published an excerpt in his journal The Noble Savage, and Mailer saluted Krim’s jazzy prose with its "shifts and shatterings of mood." Despite such praise and critical attention, Krim’s work is excluded from most Beat anthologies and is little known outside literary circles. With Missing a Beat, a collection of eighteen essays by Krim published between 1957 and 1989, Cohen introduces this influential writer to a new generation.

In the Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Times, and elsewhere, Krim pioneered a new style of subjective and personal reporting to write about the postwar American scene from a Jewish angle. Aggressively unacademic, Krim’s journalism displays the "rapid, nervous, breathless tempo" that Irving Howe called a hallmark of Jewish literature.

Krim outlived his early literary fame, but he produced an impressive body of work and was a tremendous prose stylist. Missing a Beat resurrects an American original, finding Krim a new literary home among such celebrated writers as Norman Mailer, David Mamet, and Saul Bellow.

View other books in the Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art series

Mark Cohen is a cultural critic and lecturer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of numerous articles on Jewish American literature and popular culture and of the book Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839–1943.

6 x 9, 296 pages, 2 black-and-white illustrations, notes, appendix, index

Missing a Beat The Rants and Regrets of Seymour Krim

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