Volume 6, Issue 1: Spring 2010

Special Issue: Motorcycle--Beschleunigung und Rebellion?


A Matter of Style—Charlie Parker and Jack Kerouac: Between Coolness and Ecstasy

Johannes Voelz


In a recent comprehensive study, German sociologist Hartmut Rosa has described the modern world as characterized by an unprecedented acceleration. Not only does technology allow us to move at an ever greater speed, virtualization enables us to “travel” while staying put in our armchair. In an even more encompassing sense, our entire social structure has become mobilized and accelerated. As a result of a self-perpetuating social process, what seems secure in one moment gives way to contingency in the next.


Starting from this macro-sociological narrative, it is easy to overlook that speed and acceleration are frequently mediated within modern culture, that— as we may put it somewhat formally—what characterizes its macro-structure is addressed, or used, on the level of microstructure. This becomes particularly pertinent in the subcultural production of the long 1950s. To get a better view of the way speed and acceleration play out on this micro-level, I will focus on a particular historical juncture of American popular culture, which I locate roughly between the years 1943 and 1957. At this moment, I argue, we can observe how two distinct subcultural formations mark their different positions in American society by the peculiar ways each makes use of speed as an aesthetic means.


The first formation I have in mind is the literary movement of the Beat Generation; the second consists of the musicians associated with bebop, who turned the popular big band jazz of the large dance halls into a small-combo art music to which listeners “danced in their heads,” as the expression goes. In the segregated U.S. of the 1940s and 1950s, these two subcultures inhabited different worlds. Considering that some of the Beats frequently belonged to the bop musicians’ audience, one may wonder what constitutes this difference. On the one hand we have the Beats, predominantly from the white middle class (though in many cases ethnically diverse), often with an aborted college education. On the other hand, we find the beboppers, professional musicians, predominantly African-American, generally from a poor family background, often hailing from the Midwest and rural South, and now mostly working in New York. Both groups constitute subcultures, and they give aesthetic expression to their conflict-ridden position vis-à-vis the cultural mainstream by each creating a specific style.[1] For both of these styles, acceleration and speed are key elements. Yet these identical elements are integrated into distinct stylistic attitudes. The Beats use speed for a style of ecstasy. Bop musicians, on the other hand, rely on speed to create a style of cool. The function of these two stylistic attitudes evolves out of each group’s relation to the mainstream of U.S. society.


To understand the meaning of coolness for bebop, it is helpful to look back at the tradition of the black artist in America, and also to locate the beginnings of bebop in the socio-cultural context of the early 1940s. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, black artists began increasingly to shape the course of American popular culture, yet for a long time they were forced to do so within the confines dictated by the stereotypes of the minstrel show.[2] Ranging from the subservient Uncle Tom and happy-go-lucky Jim Crow to the dandified Coon, these stereotypes amounted to a kaleidoscope of the grotesque; they retained much of their power even when African-American performers begin to take the stage, pushing aside white performers in blackface. We witness these stereotypes’ tenacity in Hollywood, where black performers were required to appear in blackface up to the 1930s. More indirectly, their grasp also reached into the jazz world of the 1920s and 1930s. Though musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington appeared in blackface only in their work for Hollywood,[3] their artistic careers as a whole could not evade the influence of the image of the entertainer that ultimately derives from the minstrel tradition. While this is more obvious in Armstrong’s than in Ellington’s case—Ellington, after all, successfully created a public image of elegance and suaveness—and while both successfully worked towards musical innovation and sophistication, their prime objective was nevertheless to serve the audience. By contrast, the bebop musicians who in the 1940s began to claim for themselves the role of the artist could not but reject the established habitus of the entertainer. Instead of serving the audience, self-possession became the primary requirement of their public self-presentation.[4]


The significance of the bebop musicians’ performance of self-possession becomes clearer once one locates them in the socio-cultural context of the 1940s. In 1943 race riots erupted in Harlem and other American cities. They were fuelled by the discrepancy between the legitimation of the American entry into World War II and the discrimination experienced by African Americans at home. Under the slogan “Double V – Double Victory,” rioters demanded that the military engagement against totalitarianism in Europe (a struggle for which many black soldiers give their lives) be coupled with the extension of civil and political rights to African Americans. The “double V”-motive of the race riots of 1943 must also be seen in connection with the discharge of the pent-up anger of black youths. At this level, stylization, as a symbolic expression of dissent, became coupled with political protest and the outbreak of violence. Like most youth movements, this one defined itself through a specific subcultural style, encapsulated most clearly in the zoot suit, “the uniform of young rioters [in the summer months of 1943] and the symbol of a moral panic about juvenile delinquency,” as Stuart Cosgrove, one of the zoot suit’s eminent historians, has described it (78). Hence also the name “zoot riots.” Cosgrove explains the genesis of the zoot suit in the following terms:


The zoot-suit was a refusal: a subcultural gesture that refused to concede to the manners of subservience. By the late 1930s, the term “zoot” was in common circulation within urban jazz culture. Zoot meant something worn or performed in an extravagant style, and since many young blacks wore suits with outrageously padded shoulders and trousers that were fiercely tapered at the ankles, the term zoot-suit passed into everyday language. (78)


In the context of wartime rationing, the extravagant use of fabric in the zoot suit took on an immediate significance. Cosgrove points out that in March 1942, the War Production Board’s first rationing act regulated the amount of wool to be used for suits, thereby in effect outlawing zoot suits. Especially along the Pacific Coast, where many American servicemen were stationed, this led to the visual confrontation between servicemen in their slim uniforms and chino shirts, and young African Americans as well Mexican-American pachucos[5] flaunting their outlawed suits. The zoot suit thus took on the meaning of downright anti-Americanism (Cosgrove 80).  


Of course, the zoot suit wasn’t the only stylistic manifestation that emerged in connection with the 1943 riots. It is just that its connection to the riots is more immediate than that of jive talk (which I cannot go into here) and of the sounds of the musicians who came together in the after-hours clubs of Harlem in the early 1940s (most centrally at Monroe’s Uptown House and Minton’s Playhouse), which, starting in 1945, were marketed as bebop, rebop or simply bop.


What constitutes the musical style of bebop? First, bebop was deeply committed to virtuosity. Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (usually called “Bird” by fans and colleagues), who during the 1940s was not nearly as well known to outsiders as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, quickly became an idolized figure within the subculture. His improvisational mastery seemed to be unprecedented. Even at the highest speed—there is a recording of “Koko” played at the neck-breaking speed of 350 beats per minute—he managed to play phrases of the highest complexity, which simultaneously seem to be structured by a goal-oriented logic. Often he reached this effect by building his phrases on chains of related cascades that shifted the accents from “strong” to “weak” beats and back again, all seemingly without effort.[6] In his Autobiography, Miles Davis remembers the confusion Parker’s rhythmic displacements regularly caused among his band members, and the amazement Parker effected by resolving them:


[Bird] used to turn the rhythm section around every night. Say we would be playing a blues. Bird would start on the eleventh bar. As the rhythm section stayed where they were, then Bird would play in such a way that it made the rhythm section sound like it was on 1 and 3 instead of 2 and 4. Nobody could keep up with Bird back in those days except maybe Dizzy. … Eventually Bird would come back to where the rhythm was, right on time. It was like he had planned it in his mind. (Davis 101) 


This virtuosity was self-confidently directed at the musical conventions of the time. This begins on the level of sound. In contrast to the sweet tone of the swing-band alto saxophonists who commonly ornamented their playing with rich vibrato, Charlie Parker used an aggressive and straight tone, certainly not without vibrato, as many critics claim, but a far cry from the widely popular sound ideal of romantic yearning. Rhythmically, too, the beboppers developed a complex virtuosity that broke with swing conventions. Drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach no longer played steady quarter notes on the bass drum as the swing drummers had, but used the bass drum to fill in the holes left by the horns, usually in a syncopated manner against the steady rhythm. It is by no means trivial that they called this technique “dropping bombs.”


But bebop’s break with musical conventions is perhaps nowhere more obvious than on the level of melody. The tunes composed by bop musicians amounted to anti-melodies. Their compositions were often based on the harmonies of Broadway songs.[7] While the original melodies were generally easy to remember and sing along (think of Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” whose melody could be taken from a children’s song), the new melodies of the beboppers were almost as complex as their solos. These anti-melodies with their chromatic runs, augmented intervals, and syncopated rhythms sounded catchy probably only to musicians.


Zoot suit, jive talk, and bebop were manifestations of the transfer of the militant outbreaks of the Harlem riots into the dimension of style. As Eric Lott explains:


Bebop was intimately if indirectly related to the militancy of its moment. Militancy and music were undergirded by the same social facts; the music attempted to resolve at the level of style what the militancy fought out in the streets. If bebop did not offer a call to arms, it at least acknowledged that the call had been made ... and translated that acknowledgment into style. (Lott, “Double V” 246)


Zoot suits and bebop make up one style in that they use extravagant designs and anti-conventional virtuosity in order to demand from white America the recognition of equality while also postulating an unbridgeable difference. Translated into a stylistic attitude, this double strategy amounts to coolness.


To get an idea of this coolness in action it is instructive to recall a television performance of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on Earl Wilson’s show “Stage Entrance” from the year 1952 (Parker’s only live performance in front of a camera).[8] Before their performance of “Hot House” (based on the standard “What is this Thing Called Love?”), Parker and Gillespie have to undergo an award ceremony, in the course of which Parker demonstrates how he employs the double strategy of coolness. From the hands of Earl Wilson, assisted by Leonard Feather, they receive trophies awarded by the jazz magazine Downbeat. Wilson himself did not write for the magazine and his interest in jazz and in the social living conditions of black musicians seems to have been limited. Throughout the ceremony, Leonard Feather, who fought for the recognition of bebop during the 1940s in various magazines, seems slightly embarrassed by Wilson—for good reason.


First, Wilson makes a joke at Gillespie’s expense: instead of calling him “Dizzy” he addresses him as “Diz,” surely as common and inoffensive a nickname as “Dizzy.” Wilson, however, manages to turn a non-insult into an insult by adding jokingly, “Diz—I mean Dizzy—I got a little informal there.” While his self-correction seems to pay respect to Gillespie, what he really suggests is that in the case of Dizzy, formality—and thus respect—can never be more than a joke. No wonder that no one on stage manages to muster more than a forced smile.


But the really combative exchange of blows follows. “Well, you boys have anything more to say?” Wilson asks the musicians. In the context of the entertainment industry of the time, “boys” could sound very innocent, as in “the boys in the band.” In this instance, however, “boys” carries an unmistakable trace of the belittlement and emasculation frequently used by white men vis-à-vis black men. Charlie Parker’s reaction to this racial disparagement recalls what African-American writer Ralph Ellison, in his essay “The Extravagance of Laughter,” described as the survival strategy of black men in the South:


One countered racial provocation by cloaking once feeling in that psychologically inadequate equivalent of a plaster cast—or bulletproof vest—known as ‘cool’. … Mere words could be dismissed by considering their cause and keeping a cool eye on the odds arrayed against one. (Ellison 635-36)


Indeed, while Wilson is addressing the musicians one sees how Parker literally keeps “a cool eye on the odds arrayed against one.” (Even during the ensuing performance, Parker remains remarkably self-controlled. He does not show any trace of excitement—not even his fingers seem to be moving.) Yet Parker not only keeps a “cool eye,” he also replies to Wilson with what can only be called a punch-line, all the while remaining unmoved on the outside: “Well, Earl, they say music speaks louder than words, so we would rather voice our opinion that way, if you don’t mind.” Wilson seems to understand quite well what kind of an opinion Parkers aims to express. As if to preemptively contain that message and put the musicians in their place, he interprets Parker’s rhetorical “if you don’t mind”—itself a rather sarcastic reaction to Wilson’s previous belittlement—as a literal request for permission. He claims the privilege of granting it with a mixture of faux-generosity and reluctance: “I think that would be all right with everybody—if you really want to do it.”


All this may sound like bland stage-show banter. But on listening closely to these words, one finds in them an articulation of the racial conflict between mainstream and subculture that could not be more explicit. Parker and Gillespie will voice their opinion with cool virtuosity while Wilson and his implied audience (“everybody”) will endure it patiently. Afterwards everyone will return to his own world.


In contrast to this performance of coolness, I now turn to a description of a bebop concert from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. This passage became known to a wider audience two years prior to the publication of the novel when it appeared as part of the story “Jazz of the Beat Generation,” published in the literary magazine New World Writing:


The behatted tenorman was blowing at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from “EE-yah!” to a crazier “EE-de-lee-yah!” and blasted along to the rolling crash of butt-scarred drums hammered by a big brutal-looking curl-sconced Negro with a bullneck who didn’t give a damn about anything but punishing his tubs, crash, rattle-ti-boom crash. Uproars of music and the tenorman had it and everybody knew he had it. Dean was clutching his head in the crowd and it was a mad crowd. They were all urging that tenorman to hold it and keep it with cries and wild eyes; he was raising himself from a crouch and going down again with his horn, looping it up in a clear cry above the furor. A six-foot skinny Negro woman was rolling her bones at the man’s hornbell, and he just jabbed it at her, “Ee! ee! ee!” (7)[9]


This is Kerouac, the action writer, turning literature into a corporeal experience. The passage picks up speed not through the structures of meaning but because it is structured by the measure of the breath. The first sentence is a prime example: instead of bringing it to a timely close, Kerouac extends it by adding insertion after insertion, adjective after adjective—“butt-scarred drums hammered by a big brutal-looking curl-sconced Negro with a bullneck who didn’t give a damn about anything but punishing his tubs”—until, at the climax of the sentence, the language bursts the strictures of semantics altogether and becomes pure sound. At the moment of literal breathlessness words become one with their referent: “crash, rattle-ti-boom crash.” Here, too, we can speak of acceleration: to fit Kerouac’s long line into one breath the reader has to breathe deeper and read faster. This language-driven surge in intensity is to be experienced by the reader herself, but it is also doubled soon after in the ecstasy of the fictional world: “Uproars of music and the tenorman had it and everybody knew he had it.” Readers of Kerouac know that there is no higher God than “it.”


Literary and cultural critics have for a long time attempted to demonstrate a close formal link between Beat literature and bebop.[10] In effect, these critics argue that the Beats created an equivalent to bebop in the medium of literature. This view is short sighted for at least two reasons. First, the formal similarities they rightly point to—say, speed and acceleration, or the unit of the breath—are not specific enough to define one practice as the equivalent of the other. The fact that Kerouac and Ginsberg organize their writings around the length of the breath still does not turn them into the literary version of a jazz saxophonist’s improvisation, though it is true that Beat literature draws on oral traditions and tends to pay attention to the rhythm of language. Second, these critics, in perpetuating the self-identification of the Beats with bebop, ironically overlook how stylistic elements are employed differently from different social positions. The fact that the Beats frequently described their experiments as amounting to jazz is key for understanding their differences from jazz. The Beats’ identification with jazz is only one instance (though one that is particularly telling) of their romantic quest for an alternative society that is less corrupted and conformist, and more communal, spontaneous, and sensual than the mainstream middle-class America of the 1940s and 50s. Other sources of romantic replenishment (compiled from On The Road) include the alleged authenticity of people in the West, the simplicity of cotton-picking, the existentialism of life in Mexico, the hobo’s life without responsibility, the return to nature, and the (re)-discovery of religion. As Gary Snyder once put it:


In a way the Beat Generation is a gathering together of all the available models and myths of freedom in America that existed heretofore, namely: Whitman, John Muir, Thoreau, and the American bum. We put them together and opened them out again, and it becomes a literary leitmotif, and then we added some Buddhism to it. (qtd. in Gifford and Lee 213)


I argue that this quest makes sense only from the particular social position of the Beats—essentially middle-class, not black,[11] yet deeply at odds with society’s norms. What drives this quest is a sense of wanting to leave one’s circumstances. Rather than giving voice to the cry of an outcast subjectivity, the Beats’ project focuses on the articulation of dissent with one’s own culture. This in turn explains why the Beats used the aesthetic elements of speed and acceleration for a style that was ecstatic, not cool: only the ecstatic—the self’s overflowing its own boundaries—promised a way towards breaking through the norms by which society constricted the self.


From this vantage point, African-American cultural traditions like jazz had a particular appeal: listening to jazz not only allowed for the imaginary identification with a culture more radically marginalized than one’s own. It also allowed the Beats to enter the transgressive listening experience of what they called “kicks.” It is noteworthy that “cool” was a style the Beats viewed as inimical to their own goals: cool was considered an aesthetics that signaled corruption. In On The Road, Kerouac’s narrating alter ego Sal Paradise quotes Dean Moriarty’s orgiastic cheering at a performance of pianist George Shearing—“There he is! That’s him! Old God! Old God Shearing! Yes! Yes! Yes!”—only to then point to Shearing’s fall: “Shearing rose from the piano, dripping with sweat; these were his great 1949 days before he became cool and commercial” (116).


As the Beats’ ecstatic dissent stems from their alienation within their own culture, it is hardly surprising that their critique of America is carried out in the terms of what Sacvan Bercovitch has described as the American myth.[12] Indeed, the point of reference of the Beats’ quest always remains a vaguely mythical America. If Kerouac’s writings frequently move from the ecstatic to elegiac, this is because the more perfect America seems to have been lost at some point before the arrival of the Organization Man. Visions of Cody, Kerouac’s most extended experiment in spontaneous prose and de-hierarchical ekphrasis (what is called “sketching” in Beat lingo), begins with an extended rumination on a diner that bridges post- and pre-lapsarian America.


The place is so brown that any light looks brown in it—It’s fit for the sorrows of winter night and reminds me speechlessly of old blizzards when my father was ten, of ‘’88’ [sic] or some such and of old workmen spitting and Cody’s father. Outside—sprawling ‘alpine lodge’ crazy crooked wood house with fringes, weathervane tower, vane itself, pale shapeless snot green, stained with ages of rain and snow, onetime red (now forlorn hint of red) tower—fringes elaborate as hell—timbers on tracks are splintered and aged beyond recognition. (19)


Kerouac’s narrator doesn’t just see his surroundings: in the fadedness of now (“pale shapeless snot green”… “now forlorn hint of red”), he sees, like a geologist, the sedimentation of deep time (“ages of rain and snow”) and even manages to unearth the new (“onetime red”). In using the impressions of decay as a springboard for re-presenting the time of his father’s childhood, he layers the imagination of the past on top of the observation of the present and calls this process memory. Mourning for an America he himself has never known, Kerouac’s sketching is an enactment of nostalgia. Elegy and ecstasy form a curious partnership in this passage (which continues for pages): despite its apparent mournfulness, the language begins to get excited over decay, in part because it points back to a golden past, in part because of the materiality of decay itself. The wood house is “crazy crooked,” the fringes are “elaborate as hell.” The elegiac and the ecstatic blend into each other as the rebel-writer discontented with America gets excited over … America.  


Here again we see the difference in social position between Beat writers and bop musicians, a difference that breeds distinct stylistic attitudes. While Charlie Parker’s coolness is concerned with self-control and self-possession, Kerouac’s ecstatic style aims at transgression. While the cool concentricism of bebop marks its own world, demands respect for it, and yet declares it off-limits for the members of the mainstream culture, the ecstatic excentricism of the Beats constitute a subculture without a clearly demarcated cultural terrain. Instead of defending a “here,” the Beats search for the “there” of a better America. From the socially marginalized position of the beboppers this reference point is not available, while for the Beats it does not generate a world in the here and now for which they could claim recognition. In the Beats’ style of ecstasy, one senses the wish to leave behind a mainstream culture that always threatens to catch up with them. In the cool style of the bebop musicians, one senses the wish to be recognized by a mainstream to which they neither can nor want to belong. As different as these worlds are, their similarities remain striking: acceleration and speed are the points where to radically different socio-cultural styles meet.




[1] My understanding of subculture takes its departure chiefly from Dick Hebdige’s theorization in his classic study Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979). Like Hebdige, I see subcultures as groups placed at a distance from the cultural mainstream; this distance is often grounded in racial exclusion and/or poverty, but the distance can also result from the decision to live out a different sensibility (e.g., in avant garde movements comprised of members of the middle class who consider themselves alienated from the cultural mainstream). What is essential for a group outside the mainstream to become a subculture is its self-definition through symbolic means. Subcultures rely on stylization. I part from Hebdige in that he singles out “resistance” to the mainstream as the content of any subculture’s symbolic activity. While I agree that subcultures’ stylizations mark their difference from the mainstream, the impetus is not necessarily resistance. Often, subcultures engage in a diffuse form of nostalgia that is more affirmative than resistant. Other subcultures use stylization to make a call for recognition by the mainstream—a call that balances the assertion of universal humanity with an insistence on cultural difference. This balancing act is generally not reducible to resistance either.

[2] For two classic studies on the minstrel show, see Toll, Blacking Up and Lott, Love and Theft.

[3] For Hollywood’s use of jazz, see Krin Gabbard’s Jammin’ at the Margins, and the essays in the collection Representing Jazz, edited by Gabbard.

[4] It should be noted that the deliberate display of self-possession by bebop musicians does not imply conformity with the codes of conduct of the white middle class. But it is also clear that the ideal of self-possession does not square up seamlessly with an assertion of radical difference.

[5] For the Mexican-American youth movement of the pachucos and pachucas and its ties to the zoot riots, see, besides Cosgrove, Laura Cummings, Pachucas and Pachucos in Tuscon.

[6] For a detailed musical analysis of Parker’s style, see Thomas Owens, Bebop: The Music and Its Players. But see also Scott DeVeaux’s outstanding book The Birth of Bebop for a highly successful blend of musical analysis and social history.

[7] The reliance on common chord progressions had several reasons. Most important, established songs (“standards”) had the functional advantage of enabling a wide array of musicians to sit in at jam sessions. Adding their own melodies, rather than playing the original, sometimes had no more than the financial reason of avoiding the payment of royalties to the composer. The question to be answered, however, is: Why did these Ersatz-melodies take the form they did?

[8] This clip can be streamed from Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkvCDCOGzGc (accessed 5/5/2009).

[9] For a slightly altered version included in On the Road, see 179.

[10] See especially the studies by Weinreich and Hunt, but also Belgrad, who posits a “culture of spontaneity” that spans Abstract Expressionism, Beat literature, and jazz. For a cogent critique, see Malcolm.

[11] While it is true that many Beats belonged to ethnic minorities that were not quite considered “white” in the 1940s, what matters here is that in U.S. society, the racial category “black” is not situated on the same axis as the various categories of ethnicity (which may in principle become “white”).

[12] As Bercovitch has explained, the “American ideology” has been so successful because any criticism that points out the failure of actualizing the American Dream renews the promise that the dream will come true. See, for instance, his article “The Problem of Ideology in American Literary History.”


Works Cited


Belgrad, Daniel. The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998.


Bercovitch, Sacvan. “The Problem of Ideology in American Literary History.” Critical Inquiry 12 (Summer 1986): 631-653.


Cosgrove, Stuart. “The Zoot Suit and Style Warfare.” History Workshop Journal 18 (Autumn 1984): 77-91.


Cummings, Laura. Pachucas and Pachucos in Tuscon: Situated Border Lives. Tuscon: U of Arizona P, 2009.


Davis, Miles, with Quincy Troupe. The Autobiography. New York: Simon & Schuster (Touchstone), 1990.


DeVeaux, Scott. The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. Berkeley: U of California P, 1997.


Ellison, Ralph. “The Extravagance of Laughter.” The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison. New York: Modern Library, 2003. 613-658.

Gabbard, Krin. Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1996.


Gabbard, Krin, ed. Representing Jazz. Durham: Duke UP, 1995.


Gifford, Barry and Lawrence Lee. Jack’s Book: An Oral Biography Of Jack Kerouac. New York: Penguin, 1979.


Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Methuen, 1979.


Hunt, Timothy. Kerouac’s Crooked Road: Development of a Fiction. Berkeley: U of California P, 1996.


Kerouac, Jack [Jean-Louis]. “Jazz of the Beat Generation.” New World Writing 7 (1955): 7-16.


---. On The Road. 1957. London: Penguin Classics, 2000.


---. Visions of Cody. 1971. London: Harper Collins (Flamingo Modern Classic), 1995.  


Lott, Eric. Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. New York: Oxford UP, 1995.


---. “Double V, Double-Time: Bebop’s Politics of Style.” Jazz Among The Discourses. Ed. Krin Gabbard. Durham: Duke UP, 1995. 243-255.


Malcolm, Douglas. “’Jazz America’: Jazz and African American Culture in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.” Contemporary Literature 40 (Spring 1999): 85-110.


Owens, Thomas. Bebop: The Music and Its Players. New York: Oxford UP, 1995.


Rosa, Hartmut. Beschleunigung: Die Veränderung der Zeitstrukturen in der Moderne. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp, 2005.


Toll, Robert C. Blacking Up: The Minstrel-Show in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Oxford UP, 1974.


Weinreich, Regina. The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac: A Study of The Fiction. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1987.





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