Historical accounts of the 1960s' counter culture generally point to ‘an intense internationalism, which was based on shared dreams, strategies, styles, moods and vocabularies’. 1 Its origins lay in the beats (beatnik) movement of the 1950s which had developed in the student area of the Left Bank of Paris. Influenced by French bohemian artists and intelligentsia, and centred around the existentialist values of Jean-Paul Sartre (which espoused the primacy of experiences, subjectivity and individuality in social and interpersonal life), the beats were popularised in America by such writers as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Initially, the movement was centred on Greenwich Village, New York. Characterised by a romantic anarchism, an interest in Eastern mysticism, poetry, jazz and drugs (most specifically marijuana), the movement spread across America in the early 1960s and exercised a particular influence on the values of the 1960s' counter culture.