Underground  

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"Some have stated in our written histories that Spartacus or Jesus may have been the first to define the Underground. Or Socrates drinking his mix of the poisonous hemlock, François Villon inaugurating the zazou spirit of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Galileo, Benvenuto Cellini, Giordano Bruno, each threatened by or ending up at the stakes for opening new horizons to an ancient world. Closer to us is Fyodor Dostoyevsky and his Notes from the Underground. Or the green hair of Baudelaire, or the fulgurating irritations of Rimbaud, the grinding teeth of Lautréamont and the voluptuousness of Huysmans and René Crevel." --Underground, l'histoire, Jean-François Bizot, tr. J.W. Geerinck


"We must remember the 'underground' of the ballad singer and the fairground which handed on traditions to the nineteenth century (to the music hall, or Dickens' circus folk or Hardy's pedlars and showmen); for in these ways the 'inarticulate' [masses of people] conserve certain values - a spontaneity and capacity for enjoyment and mutual loyalties - despite the inhibiting pressures of magistrates, mill-owners, and Methodists." --(E. P. Thompson 1963)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Underground means below the ground; below the surface of the Earth. Metaphorically it refers to something hidden, furtive, secret, (see clandestine) and of cultural products such as music and art, it means outside the mainstream (see underground culture).

Underground culture

See underground culture, underground literature, underground art, underground music.

Underground culture, or just underground, is a term to describe various alternative cultures which either consider themselves different to the mainstream of society and culture, or are considered so by others. The word underground is used because there is a history of resistance movements under harsh regimes where the term underground was employed to refer to the necessary secrecy of the resisters. For example, the Underground Railroad was a network of clandestine routes by which African slaves in the 19th century United States attempted to escape to freedom. The unmodified term "The underground" was a common name for World War II resistance movements. It was later applied to counter-cultural movement(s) many of which sprang up during the 1960s.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Underground" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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