Table of Contents Summary In the winter ofthe reckless and joyous Dean Moriarty, fresh out of another stint in jail and newly married, comes to New York City and meets Sal Paradise, a young writer with an intellectual group of friends, among them the poet Carlo Marx. Dean fascinates Sal, and their friendship begins three years of restless journeys back and forth across the country.
Share via Email 'Sending countless kids on the road' The reviewer, Gilbert Millstein, called it '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'.
In Minor Characters, her illuminating memoir of life among the Beat writers, Joyce Johnson, who was with Kerouac on that day in New York, captures the seismic resonance of that single review.
She had gone with Kerouac to buy an early edition of the newspaper from an all-night newsstand in midtown Manhattan. In a nearby bar, she had watched him read Millstein's article, shaking his head 'as if he couldn't figure out why he wasn't happier than he was'.
Afterwards, they had walked back to Johnson's apartment on the Upper West Side where, as she memorably put it: The ringing phone woke him next morning and he was famous.
It would continue to do so for the rest of his short life, and for many decades afterwards. It also, as Kerouac's friend and fellow Beat writer, William Burroughs, witheringly wrote, 'sold a trillion Levi's, a million espresso coffee machines, and also sent countless kids on the road'.
Unwittingly, and to his increasing horror, Kerouac had written a zeitgeist book, one that would help determine the course of what would come to be known as youth culture over the following two decades.
Tom Waits, too, acknowledged its influence, hymning Jack and Neal in a song, and calling the Beats 'father figures'. At least two great American photographers were influenced by Kerouac: Robert Frank, who became his close friend - Kerouac wrote the introduction to The Americans - and Stephen Shore, who set out on an American road trip in the Seventies with Kerouac's book as a guide.
Remarkably, On the Road was actually written in when, so the story goes, Kerouac typed the words over three uninterrupted weeks on to a ft scroll of teletype paper, fuelled by Benzedrine and strong coffee. The novel recounts, in a breathless and impressionistic style, his travels to and fro across America, often in the company of his friend and prime influence, Neal Cassady, renamed Dean Moriarty in the book.
In the six years it took for On the Road to be published, American culture changed dramatically: Elvis Presley altered the course of popular music; James Dean and Marlon Brando emerged as a new breed of brooding teenage icon; the painter Jackson Pollock came and went, his action paintings and the intense way he lived some kind of precursor to the 'nowness' that the Beats strived for in both art and life.
The alienation, the restlessness, the dissatisfaction were already there waiting when Kerouac pointed out the road. He was hurt by the many negative reviews of the book, and by the parodies of the Beat generation that suddenly started appearing on mainstream televison chat shows.
In interviews from the time, he is palpably ill at ease, sometimes inebriated. In the most recent biography of the writer, Kerouac: His Life and Work, Paul Mather writes: The physical cause was cirrhosis of the liver, brought on by years of alcohol abuse.
Many of those who knew him intimately, though, suspected that he also died of disillusionment. He had the thin skin of the artist as well as the guilt that his Catholic upbringing had instilled in him. In the end, he was just so depressed about how he was being misrepresented, how his great and beautiful book was being blamed for all the excesses of the Sixties.
He just couldn't take it. Two years ago, a range of Jack Kerouac clothing was launched in America. Later this year, the BBC will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of On the Road by sending the comedian, presenter and self-styled dandy, Russell Brand, and his Radio 2 co-presenter, Matt Morgan, on a road trip.
Thankfully, the anniversary will also be marked in a more reverent manner by the book's publishers, Penguin, who on 5 September will publish On the Road: The Original Scroll, the full, uncensored text that Kerouac famously wrote in those three frantic weeks.
The cast of characters - Allen Ginsberg, Burroughs, the Cassadys - are no longer hidden behind Kerouac's often wonderful pseudonyms, and that famous opening line, 'I first met Dean not long after my wife and I had split up,' now reads, 'I first met Neal not long after my father died.
The attraction that Ginsberg felt for Neal Cassady, briefly reciprocated, is now acknowledged in the first few pages, though in an almost offhand manner: I heard them across the darkness and mused and said to myself, "Hmm, now there's something started but don't want anything to do with it.
Kirsten Dunst will star as Carolyn Cassady. Nearly 40 years after his premature death, then, Kerouac lives on - though in some odd and often contradictory ways. As is the case with Guevara, his legacy is contested, his cultural meaning blurred.
|Be Book-Smarter.||Table of Contents Summary In the winter ofthe reckless and joyous Dean Moriarty, fresh out of another stint in jail and newly married, comes to New York City and meets Sal Paradise, a young writer with an intellectual group of friends, among them the poet Carlo Marx.|
|SparkNotes: On the Road: Summary||He spends much of his time with his eccentric and artistic friends in New York City. One of his friends, Chad King, introduces him to Dean Moriarty, a young man recently released from a reformatory in New Mexico.|
|Quick Links - Poets.org||It had taken him over three years to complete. The criticism may have hurt but as it turned out was a blessing in disguise as it convinced Jack to leave fiction behind and concentrate on actual events.|
|follow poets.org||This novel deserves to lounge around in a five star hotel rather than languish in a lone star saloon. Disclaimer Please forgive my review.|
At the Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, for instance, where the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics is housed, they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of On the Road with a three-day Kerouac festival.
The last remnants of the Beat generation, or at least those fit enough to travel, will be in attendance. One of the organisers, Junior Burke, chair of writing at Naropa, recently described On the Road as 'one of the truly defining works of American fiction', comparing it to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but adding: I think it's something that young people still relate to.
In an age where youth culture is increasingly defined by consumerism, where the road trip has been replaced by the gap year, and where it is considered radical to be cool but not cool to be radical, whither Jack Kerouac and his beatific vision? The great adventure that was travelling overland in the Sixties and Seventies has become a middle-class ritual.
The notion that you would throw yourself at the mercy of the road, and by doing so, gain some self-knowledge or even maturity, is long gone.
I often thank God that Jack and Neal did not live long enough to see what has become of their vision'.Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on March 12, , Jack Kerouac, baptised Jean Louis Kirouac, was the youngest of three children of French-Canadian immigrants from Quebec, Canada.
On the Road is a novel by Jack Kerouac that was that was first published in Nov 18, · Jack Kerouac is known as the King of the Beats. A poet, novelist and all round inspiration for questing individuals, learn how his iconic book On The Road came to Reviews: 2. On the Road study guide contains a biography of Jack Kerouac, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About On the Road On the Road Summary.
On the Road study guide contains a biography of Jack Kerouac, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About On the Road On the Road Summary. Nov 05, · Analysis of Kerouac’s On The Road Anand Bose English Language, Literary Analysis, Literature November 5, November 5, 2 Minutes Jack Kerouac is one of the pioneering founders of the .