Understanding Jack Kerouac introduces readers to what Matt Theado calls Kerouac's "unwieldy accretion of published work"-fiction, poetry, nonfiction, selected letters, religious writing, and "true-story novels." Presenting this cultural icon of the Beat Generation primarily as a writer rather than as a social rebel or media celebrity, Theado elucidates the reasons Kerouac's reputation has outlived disparaging beatnik associations and why his writings continue to attract an expanding readership. Theado takes a book-by-book approach to the sometimes-confusing canon and develops a framework for understanding Kerouac's thematic concerns, writing techniques, and artistic evolution.
Proposing that the real legend of Jack Kerouac is the saga of a writer at work, Theado suggests that as recognition of Kerouac's artistic achievement grows, the Duluoz Legend-Kerouac's series of barely fictionalized re-creations of his life-outgrows the genre of autobiography and becomes an intimate chronicle of a writer's stylistic maturation. Theado traces Kerouac's development as a crafter of language and contends that spontaneous prose, Kerouac's literary hallmark, may prove to be his chief claim to literary longevity.
|Publisher:||University of South Carolina Press|
|Series:||Understanding Contemporary American Literature Series|
|Product dimensions:||5.41(w) x 7.28(h) x 0.94(d)|
About the Author
Matt Theado is a professor of English at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and the author of The Beats: A Literary Reference.