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Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969)

Related: American literature - Beat Generation - counterculture - stream-of-consciousness

Biography

Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, artist, and part of the Beat Generation. While enjoying popular but little critical success during his own lifetime, Kerouac is now considered one of America's most important authors. Kerouac's spontaneous, confessional language style inspired other writers, including Tom Robbins, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, and Bob Dylan.

Most of his life was spent in the vast landscapes of America or in the apartment of his mother, with whom he lived most of his life. Faced with a changing country, Kerouac sought to find his place, eventually bringing him to reject the values of the fifties. His writing often reflects a desire to break free from society's mold and to find meaning in life. This search may have led him to experiment with drugs (he used psilocybin, marijuana, and benzedrine, among others), to study spiritual teachings such as Buddhism, and to embark on trips around the world. His books are sometimes credited as the catalyst for the 1960s counterculture. Kerouac's best known works are On the Road and The Dharma Bums. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac [Feb 2006]

On the Beat Generation

"The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clennon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late Forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, curious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way - a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word "beat" spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America - beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction..." -- Jack Kerouac, 1957

On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac

  1. On the Road (1957) - Jack Kerouac [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    On The Road, the most famous of Jack Kerouac's works, is not only the soul of the Beat movement and literature, but one of the most important novels of the century. Like nearly all of Kerouac's writing, On The Road is thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture. --Amazon.com

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