Hipster History

More

by Richard Florida

Brian Frank writes:

Richard Florida points to a familiar article about "blipsters" -- "black  hipsters." Which is funny, now that I think of it, because the  original hipsters were known as "white negroes".

Well, almost. Norman Mailer's infamous "The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster" was originally published in 1957 in Dissent. 

Nearly a decade earlier, in 1948, Anatole Broyard, published "A Portrait of the Hipster" in Partisan Review. I can't find an online version, but here's how one writer describes it:

Broyard attempted an analysis and a definition of a new type then appearing around Greenwich Village who had, in his view, been welcomed by intellectuals who "ransacking everything for meaning, admiring insurgence... .attributed every heroism to the hipster.,,."

But Broyard was less enthusiastic about these supposed new rebels ... In Broyard's words: "The hipster promptly became in his own eyes, a poet, a seer, a hero." And he added that the hipster life-style "grew more rigid than the Institutions it had set out to defy. It became a boring routine. The hipster - once an unregenerate Individualist, an underground poet, a guerrilla - had become a pretentious poet laureate."

Of course, what Broyard was doing, as well as attacking the hipsters, was criticising his fellow-intellectuals for failing to accept that the hipster rebellion was a sham.

Hmmmmmm ...

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down