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Introduction: Materializing "the Eternal French Connexion"

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This special issue takes up a position within the recent “transnational turn” in Beat Studies by shifting the field’s dominant critical paradigm beyond its traditionally American-centric focus and toward more text-based approaches. While it attends to neglected as well as major Beat writers, and opens a dialogue between Anglophone and Francophone scholarship, it also reveals the importance of the cultural 'passeurs' who shaped the reception of French literature in North America and of Beat literature in France. One of its main aims is to inspire further archival and textual work by giving new weight to the crucial yet problematic role of publishers, editors, and translators to convey French and Beat literatures across and between languages and cultures.