Shelves: poetry Eh, Kerouac as a poet. If you are interested in haiku, or in the ways Eastern poetic forms and sensibilities have been imported to the west, if I were you, I would read Gary Snyder, who helped import haiku to the beats and that generation in this country. Snyder is a serious poet and serious Buddhist, who inspired Kerouac and other beats, but none of them did work to match what Snyder did. Book of Haikus compiler and introducer Weinrich makes a case for this book as both serious poetry and Eh, Kerouac as a poet. Most of them are three lines, a few are two liners. They were written at a time when he was taking a look at Buddhism.

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Jack also had various stories on the etymology of his surname, usually tracing it to Irish, Breton , Cornish or other Celtic roots. In one interview he claimed it was from the name of the Cornish language Kernewek , and that the Kerouacs had fled from Cornwall to Brittany.

This deeply affected four-year-old Jack, who would later say that Gerard followed him in life as a guardian angel. He had one other sibling, an older sister named Caroline. Kerouac was referred to as Ti Jean or little John around the house during his childhood. She was a devout Catholic, who instilled this deep faith into both her sons.

He recalled "a whole bunch of rabbis walking arm in arm He entered Columbia University after spending a year at Horace Mann School , where he earned the requisite grades for entry to Columbia. Kerouac broke a leg playing football during his freshman season, and during an abbreviated second year he argued constantly with coach Lou Little , who kept him benched. While at Columbia, Kerouac wrote several sports articles for the student newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator , and joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

It was during this time that he met the Beat Generation people—now famous—with whom he would always be associated, and who as characters formed the basis of many of his novels, including Allen Ginsberg , Neal Cassady , John Clellon Holmes , Herbert Huncke , Lucien Carr and William S. Kerouac joined the United States Merchant Marine in and in joined the United States Navy, but served only eight days of active duty before arriving on the sick list.

According to his medical report, Kerouac said he "asked for an aspirin for his headaches and they diagnosed me dementia praecox and sent me here. William Burroughs was also a native of St. Carr dumped the body in the Hudson River. Afterwards, Carr sought help from Kerouac. Carr, encouraged by Burroughs, turned himself in to the police. Kerouac and Burroughs were later arrested as material witnesses. Kerouac then agreed to marry Edie Parker if her parents would pay the bail.

Their marriage was annulled in Though the book was not published during their lifetimes, an excerpt eventually appeared in Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader and as noted below, the novel was finally published late Kerouac also later wrote about the killing in his novel Vanity of Duluoz. Later, Kerouac lived with his parents in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, after they had also moved to New York.

He wrote his first published novel, The Town and the City , and began the famous On the Road around when living there. The Town and the City was published in under the name "John Kerouac" and, though it earned him a few respectable reviews, the book sold poorly. The book was heavily edited by Robert Giroux , with around pages taken out.

He completed the first version of the novel during a three-week extended session of spontaneous confessional prose. Kerouac wrote the final draft in 20 days, with Joan, his wife, supplying him with benzedrine, cigarettes, bowls of pea soup and mugs of coffee to keep him going. This allowed him to type continuously without the interruption of reloading pages. The resulting manuscript contained no chapter or paragraph breaks and was much more explicit than the version which would eventually be published.

Though "spontaneous," Kerouac had prepared long in advance before beginning to write. Though the work was completed quickly, Kerouac had a long and difficult time finding a publisher. Before On the Road was accepted by Viking Press, Kerouac got a job as a "railroad brakeman and fire lookout" see Desolation Peak Washington traveling between the East and West coasts of the United States to earn money, frequently finding rest and the quiet space necessary for writing at the home of his mother.

While employed in this way he met and befriended Abe Green, a young freight train jumper who later introduced Kerouac to Herbert Huncke , a Times Square street hustler and favorite of many Beat Generation writers. According to Kerouac, On the Road "was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God.

And we found him. I found him in the sky, in Market Street San Francisco those 2 visions , and Dean Neal had God sweating out of his forehead all the way. And once he has found Him, the Godhood of God is forever Established and really must not be spoken about.

He often experienced episodes of heavy drinking and depression. During this period, he finished drafts of what would become ten more novels, including The Subterraneans , Doctor Sax , Tristessa , and Desolation Angels , which chronicle many of the events of these years.

In , he lived mostly in New York City, having a brief but passionate affair with an African-American woman. This woman was the basis for the character named "Mardou" in the novel The Subterraneans. At the request of his editors, Kerouac changed the setting of the novel from New York to San Francisco. However, Kerouac had earlier taken an interest in Eastern thought. It was published by Viking in September Weeks later, a review of the book by Gilbert Millstein appeared in The New York Times proclaiming Kerouac the voice of a new generation.

His friendship with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso , among others, became a notorious representation of the Beat Generation. The term Beat Generation was invented by Kerouac during a conversation held with fellow novelist Herbert Huncke.

Huncke used the term "beat" to describe a person with little money and few prospects. His celebrity status brought publishers desiring unwanted manuscripts that were previously rejected before its publication. Neal Cassady , possibly as a result of his new notoriety as the central character of the book, was set up and arrested for selling marijuana.

It was written in Orlando between November 26 [53] and December 7, He wrote to Snyder, referring to a meeting with D. Suzuki , that "even Suzuki was looking at me through slitted eyes as though I was a monstrous imposter.

The television series Route 66 — , featuring two untethered young men "on the road" in a Corvette seeking adventure and fueling their travels by apparently plentiful temporary jobs in the various U.

Kerouac appears intelligent but shy. In , Neal Cassady also died while in Mexico. Buckley Jr. Kerouac talked about the counterculture of the s in what would be his last appearance on television. He suddenly felt nauseated and went to the bathroom, where he began to vomit blood. Kerouac was taken to St. He received several transfusions in an attempt to make up for the loss of blood, and doctors subsequently attempted surgery, but a damaged liver prevented his blood from clotting.

He never regained consciousness after the operation, and died at the hospital at the following morning, at the age of His cause of death was listed as an internal hemorrhage bleeding esophageal varices caused by cirrhosis , the result of longtime alcohol abuse. Later, Kerouac included ideas he developed from his Buddhist studies that began with Gary Snyder. He often referred to his style as "spontaneous prose. The central features of this writing method were the ideas of breath borrowed from jazz and from Buddhist meditation breathing , improvising words over the inherent structures of mind and language, and limited revision.

Connected with this idea of breath was the elimination of the period , substituting instead a long connecting dash. As such, the phrases occurring between dashes might resemble improvisational jazz licks.

When spoken, the words take on a certain musical rhythm and tempo. Kerouac greatly admired and was influenced by Gary Snyder. The Dharma Bums contains accounts of a mountain climbing trip Kerouac took with Snyder, and includes excerpts of letters from Snyder.

Kerouac would go on for hours, often drunk, to friends and strangers about his method. It was at about the time of The Subterraneans that he was encouraged by Ginsberg and others to formally explain his style. Of his expositions of the Spontaneous Prose method, the most concise was Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, a list of 30 "essentials".

The existence of his two novels written in French, La nuit est ma femme and Sur le chemin was revealed to the general public in a series of articles published by journalist Gabriel Anctil, in the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir in and Kerouac refers to this short novel in a letter addressed to Neal Cassady who is commonly known as the inspiration for the character Dean Moriarty dated January 10, The published novel runs over pages, having been reconstituted from six distinct files in the Kerouac archive by Professor Cloutier.

Here, as with most of his French writings, Kerouac writes with little regard for grammar or spelling, often relying on phonetics in order to render an authentic reproduction of the French-Canadian vernacular. Even though this work has the same title as one of his best known English novels, it is the original French version of an incomplete translation that would later become Old Bull in the Bowery now published in The Unknown Kerouac from the Library of America.

La nuit est ma femme was written in early and completed a few days or weeks before he began the original English version of On the Road, as many scholars, such as Paul Maher Jr.

The technique Kerouac developed that later made him famous was heavily influenced by jazz, especially Bebop , and later, Buddhism, as well as the famous Joan Anderson letter written by Neal Cassady. This was his sole reading on Desolation Peak, and he hoped by this means to condition his mind to emptiness , and possibly to have a vision. It is like Ulysses and should be treated with the same gravity.

An annual Kerouac festival was established in Lanmeur in This group provides opportunities for aspiring writers to live in the same house in which Kerouac was inspired, with room and board covered for three months. In , the Chicago Tribune published a story by journalist Oscar J. In , Kerouac was awarded a posthumous honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The movie also describes the people and places on which Kerouac based his characters and settings, including the cabin in Bixby Canyon.

In the s, there was a surge in films based on the Beat Generation. Kerouac has been depicted in the films Howl and Kill Your Darlings. A feature film version of On the Road was released internationally in , and was directed by Walter Salles and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. The film was released in


Book of Haikus



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