On the Road by Jack KerouacWhen Jack Kerouac’s On the Road first appeared in 1957, readers instantly felt the beat of a new literary rhythm. A fictionalised account of his own journeys across America with his friend Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s beatnik odyssey captured the soul of a generation and changed the landscape of American fiction for ever.
Influenced by Jack London and Thomas Wolfe, Kerouac always wanted to be a writer, but his true voice only emerged when he wrote about his own experiences in On the Road. Leaving a broken marriage behind him, Sal Paradise (Kerouac) joins Dean Moriarty (Cassady), a tearaway and former reform school boy, on a series of journeys that takes them from New York to San Francisco, then south to Mexico. Hitching rides and boarding buses, they enter a world of hobos and drifters, fruit-pickers and migrant families, small towns and wide horizons. Adrift from conventional society, they experience America in the raw: a place where living is hard, but ‘life is holy and every moment is precious’.
With its smoky, jazz-filled atmosphere and its restless, yearning spirit of adventure, On the Road left its mark on the culture of the late 20th century, influencing countless books, films and songs. Kerouac’s prose is remarkable both for its colloquial swing and for the pure lyricism inspired by the American landscape – ‘the backroads, the black-tar roads that curve among the mournful rivers like Susquehanna, Monongahela, old Potomac and Monocacy’. This Folio Society edition is illustrated with evocative photographs of Kerouac and the landscapes of 1950s America. Now acknowledged as a modern classic, On the Road remains a thrilling and poignant story of the road less travelled.
Sur la route : Le rouleau original
He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg , a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism , drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats , a progenitor of the hippie movement , although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements. In , at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since his death, Kerouac's literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published.
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Jack Kerouac, circa Photo by Tom Palumbo. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg , a pioneer of the Beat Generation. There is some confusion surrounding his original name partly due to variations on the spelling of Kerouac, and partly because of Kerouac's own promotion of his name as Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac. Kerouac's baptism certificate lists his name simply as Jean Louis Kirouac , and indeed Kirouac is the most common spelling of the name in Quebec.
He explores the routes that cause and enrich border and cultural migrations and consequently the different practices of migration, modes of transfer and bi- or multi-cultural experiences. Hunt xxvi. As regards Kerouac, such a question must find an answer, an imperative dictated by his hyphenated identity. It is mostly from a cultural and historical point of view that the French Canadian ethnic issue will be considered here. I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.
It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use. The idea for On the Road , Kerouac's second novel, was formed during the late s in a series of notebooks, and then typed out on a continuous reel of paper during three weeks in April It was first published by Viking Press in When the book was originally released, The New York Times hailed it as "the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as 'beat,' and whose principal avatar he is. The novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the best English-language novels from to After Kerouac dropped out of Columbia University , he served on several different sailing vessels before returning to New York to write. Between and , while writing what would become The Town and the City , Kerouac engaged in the road adventures that would form On the Road.