Jack Kerouac

photo of jack

Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969) was a US (in fact French-Canadian) (his real name was Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac) poet and novelist who was a pivotal figure, along with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs (of Burroughs Adding Machine fortune) of the Beat Generation (where `beat' has overtones of both `deadbeat' and `beatific').

His novels include `On the Road', `Big Sur', `The Dharma Bums' and `The Subterraneans' (which was written through a benzedrine haze in just three days and nights), and essentially chart his life and that of his beat friends, though many parts of the tale were deliberately blurred at the insistence of his publishers to avoid possible feared libel actions.

Heavily influenced by jazz and the restlessly energetic letters of his buddy Neal Cassady, Kerouac devised a style of writing which he referred to as `spontaneous bop prosody' with long rambling paragraph-length sentences (and sentence-length paragraphs), with many side notes and tangential diversions, but with a definite jazz rhythm even down to the solo saxophonist's pauses for breath.

Any ressemblance between Kerouac's work and the syle in which this page is written is entirely intended.

There is a bunch of other related stuff around on the Web. Try checking out:

And you can even read about the (totally wonderful, but make sure you go see iton a night when there is a band providing live music because it wouldn't be half so good without, or maybe it would be half so good but no more) play The Essence of Jack.