View Full Version : jack kerouac
Feb 21st, 2003, 02:11 PM
so i'm reading 'on the road' for about the 12th time cuz it's an awesome book.
anyone else a kerouac fan?
Feb 24th, 2003, 03:07 PM
i love on the road. it makes me restless. mostly i enjoy the descriptions of american landscapes and people, but sometimes i get annoyed because his travels still sometimes seem too comfortable. shit, if i could wire home for money every time i got low, i'd spend my life hopping from greyhound to greyhound as well. anyway i love stories that are so colorful and rambly like on the road.
Feb 24th, 2003, 05:22 PM
well i 'm glad to see that someone else out there digs kerouac too. :)
you ever read any of his other stuff? big sur's pretty awesome too.
Feb 24th, 2003, 05:30 PM
i think i've only read on the road and dharma bums. but every time i go to a book store i linger by all his books and i think i've read about half of visions of cody in no particular order! i really like neal cassidy. what's big sur all about?
Feb 25th, 2003, 11:59 AM
Big Sur is awesome... deals with his battles with alcoholism and mental anguish in general. Very quick read. My favorite out of those you have mentioned.
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:05 PM
yah bennet pretty much summed up big sur. i think it's cool tho cuz i feel like you get to know kerouac more personally, ya know?
dharma bums is great too. for some reason it took me like, 6 months to get thru it tho! go figure. i wanna get my hands on some of the dharma tho. only problem is it's kinda pricey and i'm but a poor young lass... ho well.
i *did* get the ginsberg book of poem tho. you guys dig him too?
Feb 25th, 2003, 08:39 PM
i've only read 'howl', which i fucking love. it's what led me to kerouac.
i heard that neal cassady had some unfinished/unpublished works or something. do you guys know if this is true and if so, what the titles are?
Feb 26th, 2003, 11:29 AM
yah cassady wrote like...one book or something but i forget the name of it right now. you can probably find it at something like...light house books or something? i think it's called that. i'll check it out for sure and then post back.
Feb 28th, 2003, 01:19 PM
Some of the Dharma is pretty good... like other books, gives you insight into who Kerouac is and how messed up he was... had a lot of shit going through is head...
My opinions on the other beats:
Ginsberg: has about five or six early poems (around the time of howl) that are AMAZING, but he dropped off really quickly, started writing crap, became a hippy, and is probably the only person who basically lived his entire life in the shadow of one poem.
Burroughs: my favorite of the three main beats. Incredible writer, but very strange, not always accesible. The documentary, which I think is just entitled: "the Burroughs movie" is awesome. I recommend it very highly.
Cassady: I honestly haven't read anything of his other than letters.
Gary Snyder: I like him a lot, he writes a lot of nature poems, Eastern influence, influence J.Kerouac in a lot of Eastern Philosophy, haiku and the like... he is "japhy ryder" in the dharma bums.
Gregory Corso & Peter Orlovsky: they have some good stuff, but your more like to find in compilations... never got as famous as the rest, but there's some good material to be found there.
Sorry for rambling, and if I told you something you already knew.
Mar 3rd, 2003, 11:37 AM
ok to begin with i totally love allen ginsberg. i think that he's an awesome poet and i don't think that he was living in the shadow of his "hit" poems. granted, 'howl' was an awesome poem; it basically made people aware that the "beats" even existed, but i don't think that you can say that was the only place he ever got any acclaim. i think if you like...lived in the times that all that was going on that would be more evident. like he wrote all those little paphlets and stuff and they would be headlined with howl or america or something, but then they would get insight to his other poems as well. that's what i think.
and burroughs...my god. what the hell can you even say about the guy? i tried to read naked lunch before and any attempt was absolutly futile. i've heard it read in documentaries and stuff ('the source' is a really good one btw) and *some* of that made sense. but to me it seems like he's in denial that he really wants to write poetry. that's what all of (what i read of) naked lunch sounded like. just a bunch of poems connected together with no real form. so if you can give me any *idea* what the book was about or any...way, i guess, to read it. i'd love to know.
and rambling is cool. that's what we're here to do.
Mar 3rd, 2003, 12:25 PM
Sorry if I seemed to come down to hard on Ginsberg...
for one, it's just my opinion, but I know some other people who feel the same way. I agree with the "if we were living at the same time" kind of idea... but I guess that was part of what I was saying. I definitely think that after you get out of a certain time period his work drops dramatically in quality. Overall, (again just my opinion) I think that he has some concentrated work that is absolutely amazing, and a lot of stuff that is second rate and never lives up to his "peak" work.
I'll try to look up some stuff on Burroughs when I get home, and see if I can find something to make it a little more accessible. I agree with your description in some parts... but that's one of the reasons why I like "Naked Lunch." It's really like a prose poem in some aspects, and to be able to sustain that for the length that he does is really difficult. One of the reasons I find it interesting.
Mar 4th, 2003, 11:30 AM
yah i'm doing a report type thing on burroughs now so hopefully i can find something also.
you said something about how he sustained his style in naked lunch for that long period of time and all that and it made me think of 'the cut ups' and recordings and all that. know anything more on that? i keep hearing about it but i'm not so sure on what exactly people are talking about when they refer to that.
btw, location:interzone :) very cool dude
Mar 4th, 2003, 11:53 AM
he worked with a lot of collages, i think he wanted to try to use collage in writing, as well as in painting. It's an interesting technique where you take a piece of writing, either from an outside source or something you yourself wrote, cut it into pieces and form a collage which will form an entirely new piece.
It's interesting, because as weird as it seems, the technique actually works, there's a good chance that it will produce a (somewhat) coherent work, because once you rewrite the collage, you find yourself adding in a "the" or other conjunction here and there, and it's kind of as if your subconscious takes over and makes it make sense.
I took the liberty of slicing a girls paper in one of my classes and using the cut-up to write a new piece. She wasn't to happy with the result or my criticism.
If you have to write a paper on Burroughs, you really should see the documentary I mentioned earlier if you haven't already. Problem is, it isn't very easy to find... check whatever "alternative" video stores might be in your area.
I hate that I only i-mock while I'm at work, I forget to look up stuff when I get home. I've got some good books and a coursepack from when I took a class on the beats. MUST REMEMBER... maybe I'll try and I-mock tonight.
Mar 4th, 2003, 12:04 PM
just out of boredom at work, I did a little internet searching. There are a ton of internet sites about burroughs (he was later big with the cyberpunk scene)... here's one that talks about cut-ups:
it's not a direct link, you'll have to cut and paste... when it comes to computerz i em stoopid.
Mar 4th, 2003, 05:07 PM
yah it's interesting that you say that about the cut ups and the website cuz right after i typed this i went to the class i'm writing the paper on and did some research and i'm using that site actually. so that's kinda neat.
yah, did you ever see those thing that are like...magnet boards with small magnetic words for them? i have one of those and something tells me burroughs would have just went silly over one of those puppies. it's basically his idea for the cut ups only everything's already cut up for you. you just have to slap it together.
so what do you think about the fact that he shot his wife trying to be a herion-upped william tell?
Mar 6th, 2003, 11:36 AM
uhh... that's an interesting question.
I guess in a way that I'm totally detached from the situation, I find it rather amusing, even though it is pretty sick.
There are rumors that she had in fact wanted to die (due in part to the fact that Burroughs was getting more and more into young boys) and they had agreed on the whole mishap in a weird kind of theatrical assisted suicide.
Mar 7th, 2003, 11:01 AM
i think the whole william tell thing is really interesting because burroughs is always quoted saying that he considers that his inspiration for all of his work. if he really means that, it kinda makes you wonder what his writing would have been like if that hadn't occured, or if he would be writing at all.
Mar 7th, 2003, 11:15 AM
It's weird, kinda like having a wife was the one constraint keeping him attached to the "normal, everyday life." As bizarre the situation surrounding her death is, along with the fact that he almost certainly killed her on purpose (murder) (whether she wanted him to or not) it probably did function as an extremely liberating event to him.
That liberation combined with the drugged out memories of murdering your wife, plus the fact that you'd been forced into temporary exile... it's easy to see how something like that could give you a lifetime of material to draw upon.
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