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The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac: A Study of the Fiction
     

The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac: A Study of the Fiction

by Regina Weinreich
 

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Regina Weinreich explores Kerouac’s place in American literature by establishing the tot­al design of his work. She con­tends that he thought of his works as “one vast book” (a “Divine Comedy of Buddha”) he called the Legend of Duluoz.

Weinreich finds that Kerouac’s linguistic experimen­tation leads to a poetic

Overview

Regina Weinreich explores Kerouac’s place in American literature by establishing the tot­al design of his work. She con­tends that he thought of his works as “one vast book” (a “Divine Comedy of Buddha”) he called the Legend of Duluoz.

Weinreich finds that Kerouac’s linguistic experimen­tation leads to a poetic unity rather than the linear unity com­monly associated with legends. She discusses the na­ture of his “spontaneous bop prosody,” relating it to the work of Thomas Wolfe and Henry Miller.

In addition to explaining Kerouac’s method, Weinreich seeks to define the unity of his works, from The Town and the City, On the Road, and Visions of Cody to Desolation Angels and Vanity of Duluoz, which she argues brings the legend full circle. Weinreich feels the auto­biographical nature of Kerouac’s oeuvre links him to other twentieth-century American writers, following a distinctly Whitmanesque tradition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Focusing on Kerouac's desire to create one vast book, the Duluoz legend, Weinreich successfully demonstrates that each work tries to solve a structural problem presented in a prior one. Her analysis of the spiral structure governing each novel is perceptive and original, as is her discussion of the way jazz influenced Kerouac's prose style. The attempt to view On the Road , The Subterraneans , and Tristessa in terms of the courtly tradition is, however, less convincing. Weinreich's work is oriented more toward style than psychology and is more generous in its assessment than Warren French's recent Jack Kerouac (Twayne, 1986), which serves more as a general introduction. Libraries will find both titles worthwhile. William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
From the Publisher

“This is a valuable, forcefully written book… another strong indicator of Kerouac’s gradual acceptance into the core of our literature and national life itself.”—Seymour Krim

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569249710
Publisher:
Da Capo Books
Publication date:
06/28/1994
Edition description:
1ST PBK. E
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
6.05(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.58(d)

Meet the Author

Regina Weinreich teaches in the Department of Humanities at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

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