Jack Kerouac

Overview

From relative obscurity, even at the time of his death in 1969, Jack Kerouac has risen to icon status with invigorated interest at all levels of scholarship and readership. This biography serves an important purpose in cutting through both the hagiography and the critical backlash that still surrounds the figure most closely identified with the Beat movement. Using the same structure—the events of his life— that Kerouac himself utilized in writing his roman a clef novels such as On the Road, this biography ...

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Overview

From relative obscurity, even at the time of his death in 1969, Jack Kerouac has risen to icon status with invigorated interest at all levels of scholarship and readership. This biography serves an important purpose in cutting through both the hagiography and the critical backlash that still surrounds the figure most closely identified with the Beat movement. Using the same structure—the events of his life— that Kerouac himself utilized in writing his roman a clef novels such as On the Road, this biography provides an accessible alternative to current studies that will help readers, particularly students understand the creative legacy left by Kerouac. Readers will be able to draw their own insights and conclusions from this well drawn account that traces the historical and personal events that moved his career along uncharted paths. Sixteen chapters piece together his troubled ties with family, friends, lovers, and the literary establishment. This study carefully examines the philosophy of the writer and the psychology of the man with his many contradictions and complexities.

Interest in Kerouac's life has never been stronger. This concise biography draws on both new and established research on Kerouac to lay out the facts and distinguish the man from the myth. A Timeline of Events will help readers understand the important occurrences in Kerouac's life, his travels, his writings, involvement in the Beat movement, and the larger context of literary and political events of his time. A complete bibliography of works by Kerouac includes important posthumous publications. A select bibliography of biographical and critical works, including electronic sources, will guide readers with further personal interests or research projects on Kerouac.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313328367
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2004
  • Series: Greenwood Biographies Series
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 980,176
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL J. DITTMAN teaches English at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He has published poetry and has contributed critical articles for Contemporary American Women Poets (Greenwood, 2001) and American Literature Archive.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii
Introduction ix
Timeline of Events in the Life of Jack Kerouac xi
Chapter 1 Youth 1
Chapter 2 Horace Mann and Columbia 11
Chapter 3 On the Sea and on the Road 15
Chapter 4 Bebop and Benzedrine 23
Chapter 5 The Town and the City 27
Chapter 6 Neal Cassady 31
Chapter 7 The Railroad 47
Chapter 8 The Subterraneans and Spontaneous Prose 55
Chapter 9 Mexico City 63
Chapter 10 The West Coast Revolution 67
Chapter 11 Africa 73
Chapter 12 Fame 77
Chapter 13 The Beatnik Backlash 89
Chapter 14 Decline 97
Chapter 15 Death 111
Chapter 16 Legacy 121
Selected Bibliography 127
Index 131
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