By Matt Theado
Knowing Jack Kerouac introduces readers to what Matt Theado calls Kerouac’s “unwieldy accretion of released work”—fiction, poetry, nonfiction, chosen letters, non secular writing, and “true-story novels.” providing this cultural icon of the Beat new release basically as a author instead of as a social insurgent or media famous person, Theado elucidates the explanations Kerouac’s popularity has outlived disparaging beatnik institutions and why his writings proceed to draw an increasing readership. Theado takes a book-by-book method of the sometimes-confusing canon and develops a framework for figuring out Kerouac’s thematic issues, writing concepts, and inventive evolution. presenting that the genuine legend of Jack Kerouac is the saga of a author at paintings, Theado means that as attractiveness of Kerouac’s creative fulfillment grows, the Duluoz Legend—Kerouac’s sequence of slightly fictionalized re-creations of his life—outgrows the style of autobiography and turns into an intimate chronicle of a writer’s stylistic maturation. Theado lines Kerouac’s improvement as a crafter of language and contends that spontaneous prose, Kerouac’s literary hallmark, may well turn out to be his leader declare to literary sturdiness.
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Additional info for Understanding Jack Kerouac (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)
His keen intelligence got him into Harvard in 1932, where he experimented with weapons and read about drugs. After graduation his parents provided him with a monthly stipend. He took the grand tour of Europe, then returned to America where he continued his education by taking courses in psychoanalysis and began to move among hustlers and petty criminals. Burroughs was brilliant and widely read, although he was not interested in a writing career at that time. When Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs met, the core of the Beat Generation writers was set.
The Town and the City was published in 1950 and received decent, though not outstanding, reviews. The book sold poorly. Kerouac had failed as a football star, and now he feared he was unsuccessful as a professional writer. Between 1950 and 1957 Kerouac wrote at least a dozen more books of both prose and poetry, yet none of the books was published (see chronology for list of books by date written and date published). During the seven years between the publication of The Town and the City and On the Road, Kerouac lived the adventures and wrote most of the books for which he is now famous.
They write a line of poetry, type it up in a great big expensive five dollar binding book, put it under their arm, put on sandals, grow a little goatee, walk down the street and say they’re poets. It’s just kind of a fad. It was invented by the press. Listen, I’m a railroad brakeman, merchant marine deckhand in war time. Beatniks don’t do those things. They don’t want to work. ”8 Kerouac’s description of beatniks could have passed for the general impression the public was developing of Kerouac himself.