Brutal Offbeats

Here’s the Laptop, Now Write a Book by Jennifer Cuddy

A promising new Literary movement is emerging across the pond in the small cafes and crowded flats of Europe. In the spirit of the ‘Beat Poets’ and writers of the fifties ( Jack Kerouac, William S Burroughs, Allan Ginsberg; et al.,) these gifted young artists who call themselves The Offbeat Generation are attempting to carry on the tradition of writing for art’s sake; rather than writing for fame and fortune.

The group’s founder, Andrew Gallix, is also owner and chief editor of the online literary magazine 3:AM.  This zine is cleverly marketed towards the ‘hipster generation’ a generation desperate for role models such as themselves, in our age of self-centeredness and materialism and generalized apathy to art, and most sadly, to Literature.

These loosely affiliated writers ( Andrew Gallix, Ben Myers, Adelle Stripe, Lee Rourke, Matthew Coleman, Heidi James, Vim Cortez, Joe Ridgewell, and Tony O’Neil ) to name just a few, found themselves through common interests, and through the expansion of various social networking sites on the internet that have proven to be profoundly cathartic to the millions of unheard voices of youth. And by this, we have been granted unlimited artistic expression, that without in times past, may have silenced many of the Shakespeare’s sisters of antiquity. Some of them are self-published, yet most of them contracted with independent publishers who are similarly disappointed in the monopolized publishing industry, that appears to have a lack of reverence for talent; opting instead to promote the Mcfiction warehouse style novels and commodified celebratory biographies that prove so dishearteningly popular these days. They are the cockney voices of true East enders in London, and their bold and artistically vulnerable lack of vanity is refreshing and charming.

The Brutalists, (offspring of The Offbeat Generation) was founded by author, poet and journalist, Ben Myers. But please don’t misjudge them by their name. It is not to be taken literally. It is simply a metaphor for honesty, and is brutal only in the writing of which it seeks; i.e., writing that “pounds the senses and comes from the heart”. Or as they say, “We are the Brutalists, Fuck you!”

Nevertheless, I think upon watching the films of their readings, you will find them far from brutal. As Ben Myers states,”Brutalism calls for writing that touches upon levels of raw honesty that is a lacking form in most mainstream fiction. We cannot simply sit around waiting to be discovered – we would rather do it ourselves. Total control, total creativity. The Brutalists see ourselves as a band who have put down their instruments and picked up their pens and scalpels instead.”

Another, paperback version of the poetries, chosen by editor, writer and musician, Vim Cortez, in France is  “The Paris Bitter Hearts Pit,” which is sold in various bookshops in France, Great Britain and Ireland.

Andrew Gallix, Lee Rourke, Tony O’Neill, and Ben Myers are published authors and frequent contributors to The Guardian Unlimited online newszine. Vim Cortez, writes,sings, produces and plays his own jazz, down-tempo like sound that is available in both CD and in live appearances in the various pubs in Paris. You may catch some of his sounds of his on his website.

So, sit back, and enjoy the show! And don’t forget to check out the wonderfully fun, highly articulate and intellectually challenging Guardian Books Blog.

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