My effort to learn more about the Beat Generation and it’s association with literature will start here.
The following is from http://www.online-literature.com/periods/beat.php
In America in the 1950s, a new cultural and literary movement staked its claim on the nation’s consciousness. The Beat Generation was never a large movement in terms of sheer numbers, but in influence and cultural status they were more visible than any other competing aesthetic. The years immediately after the Second World War saw a wholesale reappraisal of the conventional structures of society. Just as the postwar economic boom was taking hold, students in universities were beginning to question the rampant materialism of their society. The Beat Generation was a product of this questioning. They saw runaway capitalism as destructive to the human spirit and antithetical to social equality. In addition to their dissatisfaction with consumer culture, the Beats railed against the stifling prudery of their parents’ generation. The taboos against frank discussions of sexuality were seen as unhealthy and possibly damaging to the psyche. In the world of literature and art, the Beats stood in opposition to the clean, almost antiseptic formalism of the early twentieth century Modernists. They fashioned a literature that was more bold, straightforward, and expressive than anything that had come before. Underground music styles like jazz were especially evocative for Beat writers, while threatening and sinister to the establishment. To many, the artistic productions of the Beats crossed the line into pornography and therefore merited censorship. Some dismissed the Beat Generation’s literature as mere provocation – a means to get attention, not serious art. Time has proven that the cultural impact of the Beat writers was far from short-lived, as the influence of their work continues to be widespread.
The “founders” of the Beat Generation met at Columbia University in the early 1940s. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg formed the core of this initial group, and they would remain bulwarks of the Beat sensibility for years to come. Lucien Carr, John Clellon Holmes, and Neal Cassidy were also original members of this coterie, though their clout was somewhat less than the others. Gregory Corso was a first wave Beat poet who Ginsberg met a bar. For the Beat Generation, the shadowy underside of society could harbor every bit as much creative genius as the gilded halls of the academy. Despite their anti-establishment and anti-academy pretentions, the Beats were all well-educated and generally from middle class backgrounds. It was Kerouac who coined the term “Beat Generation,” and the name stuck. William S. Burroughs was another original Beat writer, though slightly older and more experienced than his contemporaries. Burroughs was found unfit to serve in the Army during World War II, and had spent several years wandering and doing odd jobs. It was pure serendipity that he and Kerouac and Ginsberg would enter each other’s orbit, for their creative interchanges marked the true beginning of Beat literature.