Guilty of Everything: Herbert Huncke in Amsterdam
Reading at Ins & Outs Press
review by Mark McCawley
“Hunke, whom you’ll see on Times Square, somnolent and alert, sadsweet, dark, beat, just out of jail, martyred, tortured by sidewalks, starved for sex and companionship, open to anything, ready to introduce new worlds with a shrug.”
~ Jack Kerouac, “Now it’s Jazz”, Desolation Angels, Chapter 77.
Hobo, narcotics addict, merchant marine, gay hustler, petty thief, convict, storyteller, writer — Herbert Huncke began living an underground life after dropping out of high school in his sophomore year in Chicago, drawn to the underbelly of city life, and quickly began learning how to support himself as a professional drifter and small time grifter.
An autodidact, and primarily anti-academic, Herbert Huncke, whose lifestyle and easy manner of speaking influenced so many, (eventually famous authors and poets, e.g. Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg) coined the term “beat” to name a generation.