Gail Williams (gail) Wed 18 Apr 07 11:02
I asked about women writers, not rhetorically, but out of curiosity. I can think of some poets, songwriters and musicians... If I had to assert that a woman was a "hippie author" I'd say that Ursula Le Guin is worth looking at as related to the back to the land part of the hippie movement(s), though the whole question of science fiction and alternative culture is another realm of exploration, isn't it? Thanks for inspiring such a vibrant discussion!
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 18 Apr 07 11:52
Thanks Gail, and, when I started this project, I had the same curiousity as to why I could find no women novelists from the hippie era. Actually, there has been discussion by academics as to why literature took such a backseat to other more instantaneous media, especially radio and vinyl. Considering the magnitude of impact the era had on American culture, its surprising there weren't far more works of quality literature than I was able to find. I haven't read much Ursula LeGuin since I'm not big on sci-fi. She's from the Northwest (Portland), and the right age, so maybe there's an influence of the hippie phenomenon on her work. It would be worth looking into for that chapter I sincerely hope you consider writing! Again, thanks for the good questions.
Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Thu 19 Apr 07 01:02
Many of Ursula K. Le Guin's books are not science fiction. She also writes "regular" fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 19 Apr 07 06:58
I'll check out some of her writing. Thx.
Michael Zentner (mz) Thu 19 Apr 07 08:32
Plate o shrimp. I just learned that Ursula K. Le Guin's father was the famous anthropologist Alfred Kroeber.
God hates faqs (hex) Thu 19 Apr 07 08:51
Yah, that's what "K" stands for in her name!
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 19 Apr 07 10:36
That's news to me, too! Sent me off to google where I got tripped out on reading about Ishi online, which reminded me of the fact that I read "Ishi, the Last of His Tribe," by Theodora Kroeber, sometime during the Sixties, as did many of my hippie friends. It had a Big Influence on us
Michael Zentner (mz) Thu 19 Apr 07 10:49
We read it for a high school class.
God hates faqs (hex) Thu 19 Apr 07 11:30
However, remember that Theodora Kroeber never actually met Ishi. That was pointed out to me at a screening of a movie about Ishi several years ago. She wrote the book based on her husband's knowledge. I understand the Native Americans in California are kind of touchy about her book.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 19 Apr 07 12:44
I love Ursula K. Le Guin's essays on language, and I love the anthropological and mythological eye she brings to her fiction. "The Lathe of Heaven" is the book I'd suggest off the top of my head to someone who liked this conversation and wanted to have a taste of her work. I haven't read it for a long time, it might be fun to revisit. "The Disposessed" might relate to alterante lifestyles, or to poor versus rich countries, etc, in protraying off the grid idealists trying to create an imperfect utopia in tough circumstances, versus the affluent mainstream. That, and "The Left Hand of Darkness" are perhaps her most famous works. I doubt she ever considered herself a hippie, but if we're invoking Robert Heinlein, um, hey.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 19 Apr 07 15:20
Heinlein was shocked when hippies would show up at his gate wanting further guidance in actualizing Valentine Michael Smith's Church of All Worlds. He wanted to sue the SF Chronicle when an article claimed that Stranger In A Strange Land influenced Charlie Manson and his demonic cult. Heinlein hired a lawyer to interview Manson in prison and came to the conclusion that, not only had Manson not read Stranger, he was scarcely literate.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 19 Apr 07 17:39
Re women and science fiction in that era -- how about A Wrinkle in Time?
What another day this takes: (oilers1972) Wed 25 Apr 07 17:23
I'd have to go back and read that one. My last encounter with _Wrinkle_ was in fourth grade, way back yonder in 1977. Speaking of the '70s, THERE'S an interesting idea that has hardly been mined: books about and from the 1970s, from the post-countercultural heyday. Namely, what was it like for young Boomers (whether they identified themselves as hippies, radicals, or neither) as they made their way back into the social/economic/political/cultural mainstream, and/or as they observed their colleagues doing so (or not).
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Wed 25 Apr 07 18:58
I once had an anthropology professor who called those born from 1954-1958 part of the transition generation for this reason. What about those born from 1959-1964? It's an interesting question about those coming of age during the confusing Watergate/Disco/Punk years.
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Thu 26 Apr 07 07:33
I remember really enjoying *A Wrinkle in Time* as a kid. Yeah, it would be worth digging out again. Has it held up well enough that kids today enjoy it?
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Thu 26 Apr 07 08:48
I reread it recently. I think so.
What another day this takes: (oilers1972) Sat 28 Apr 07 13:44
Interesting, Scott, about your professor's perspective. One could break down the entire 1945-64 Boomer generation even further into striations of those who came of age during different portions of the 1960s, during the '70s and even the last wave who became adults during the early '80s, I'm sure. And how were they affected by events and trends in the larger culture that each group grew up in? For example, someone who was born in 1954 might have a different view of economic prosperity and social welfare from someone (otherwise similar) born in 1964. And I think it's equally important to note that many of the people whom we associate with the Sixties and who Made Things Happen in both the activist and countercultural realms were actually born BEFORE 1945. Many were born during or even slightly beofre World War II.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Sat 28 Apr 07 13:56
Kesey, Brautigan, Robbins, Didion, Wolfe, HST, Pynchon, Farina were all born between 1935-37, actually. Leary, Hoffman, Rubin, and many of the key musicians of the era were born before 1945 as well. Also, the advent of the information age had a significant direct and indirect influence on those born after 1960, especially. So, I agree that the baby boom generation was not some homogenous phenomenon. Jimi Hendrix was born in 1942, George W Bush in, what 1947 or 48.
"The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Sat 28 Apr 07 14:59
1946. He was born on my 1st birthday.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Sat 28 Apr 07 21:09
Rik, I think your connection to Dubya may disprove the findings of astrology. :=)
"The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Sun 29 Apr 07 06:24
God, I hope so.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Sun 13 May 07 22:13
I'm curious if anyone watched "Hippies" on The History Channel and has any thoughts/comments on the documentary? I just saw the show tonight myself. To me, "Hippies" vaccillated very quickly from sympathetic to derisive to sympathetic again. Maybe it's in large part the medium of film and the quick treatment inherent to this style of docu-history. There were several times I wanted to replay certain segments to more carefully analyze what was being said and framed.
"The Best for Your Health!" (rik) Mon 14 May 07 07:41
Missed it, but you might like this. The Hippies Were Right! Green homes? Organic food? Nature is good? Time To Give The Olâ Tie-Dyers Some Respect by Mark Morford Go ahead, name your movement. Name something good and positive and pro- environment and eco-friendly thatâs happening right now in the newly âgreeningâ America and donât say more guns in Texas or fewer reproductive choices for women or endless vile unwinnable BushCo wars in the Middle East lasting until roughly 2075 because that would defeat the whole point of this perky little column and destroy its naive tone of happy rose- colored sardonic optimism. OK? Iâm talking about, say, energy-efficient light bulbs. Iâm looking at organic foods going mainstream. I mean chemical-free cleaning products widely available at Target and Iâm talking saving the whales and protecting the dolphins and I mean yoga studios flourishing in every small town, giant boxes of organic cereal at Costco and non-phthalates dildos at Good Vibes and the Toyota Prius becoming the nationâs oddest status symbol. You know, good things. <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/02/915/>
resluts (bbraasch) Mon 14 May 07 08:20
I watched Hippies on the History channel. Seems to me they forgot the part where we drafted kids and sent them to a war half the world away. That may have influenced the movement a bit. The documentary view is that LSD got out of the lab, things got wild for a few years, then Reagan got elected and brought us back to 'normal'.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Mon 14 May 07 08:42
Fascinatng article and string of discussion after Morford's article. Thanks for sharing, Rik. It's interesting how a written essay like this evokes all these mini essays in response, while a film documentary like "Hippies" is more overwhelming in the way the visuals allow it to frame the presentation more subtlely and with short fragmented bursts. I find this medium more challenging to respond to. Maybe it says something to why so many hippies rejected television, even though they were the first generation to grow up watching it.
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