Jack Kerouac

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Kerouac, Jack

(John Kerouac) (kĕr`əwăk'), 1922–69, American novelist, b. Lowell, Mass., studied at Columbia. One of the leaders of the beat generationbeat generation,
term applied to certain American artists and writers who were popular during the 1950s. Essentially anarchic, members of the beat generation rejected traditional social and artistic forms.
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, a term he is said to have coined, he was the author of the largely autobiographical novel On the Road (1957), widely considered the testament of the beat movement. Frequently employing idiosyncratically lyrical language, Kerouac's writings reflect a frenetic, restless pursuit of new sensation and experience and a disdain for the conventional measures of economic and social success. Among his other works are the novels The Subterraneans (1958), The Dharma Bums (1958), Big Sur (1962), and Desolation Angels (1965); a volume of poetry, Mexico City Blues (1959); and a volume describing his dreams, Book of Dreams (1961). By the time he died of complications of alcoholism he had written more than 25 books.


See H. Cunnell, ed., On the Road: The Original Scroll (2007) and M. Phipps-Kettlewell, ed., Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems (2012); D. Brinkley, ed., Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947–1954 (2004); A. Charters, ed., Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1940–1956 (1995) and Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1957–1969 (1999) and B. Morgan and D. Stanford, ed., Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (2010); H. Weaver, The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties (2009); biographies by A. Charters (1973), B. Gifford and L. Lee (1978, repr. 1994), D. McNally (1980), G. Nicosia (1988), and B. Miles (1998); studies by T. Hunt (1981), R. Weinreich (1986), I. Gewirtz (2007), J. Leland (2007), P. Maher, Jr. (2007), and B. Morgan (2010).

Kerouac, Jack


Born Mar. 12, 1922, in Lowell; died Oct. 21, 1969, in St. Petersburg, Fla. American writer.

Kerouac’s novel On the Road (1957) reflects the characteristic features of a certain element of American youth of the 1950’s called beatniks. His novel Big Sur (1962) portrays the crisis of the anarchistic behavior of the beatniks. Kerouac’s novels, such as The Subterraneans (1958) and The Dharma Bums (1958), are loosely composed, characterized by an episodic plot and impressionistic description. Kerouac’s outlook combined irresponsible hedonism with a mixture of Buddhism and Christianity.


Doctor Sax. New York, 1959.
Lonesome Traveler. New York, 1960.
Desolation Angels. New York, 1965.
Satori in Paris. New York, 1966.
Vanity of Duluoz. New York, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Na Doroge. [Excerpts.] In. Lit-ra, 1960, no. 10.


Levidova, I. “Neprikaiannye dushi.” Voprosy literatury, 1960, no. 10.
Morozova, T. L. Obraz molodogo amerikantsa ν literature SShA. Moscow, 1969.
Charters, A. A Bibliography of Works by Jack Kerouac. New York [1967].

Kerouac, Jack (b. Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac) (Jean-Louis, Jean Louis Incognito, John Kerouac, pen names)

(1922–69) writer; born in Lowell, Mass. He studied at Columbia University (1940–42), and served in the merchant marine (1942; 1943) and the navy (1943). Later he studied at the New School for Social Research (1948–49). He lived with his mother in Lowell, held a variety of jobs, and traveled throughout the United States and Mexico. The publication of On the Road (1957), a semiautobiographical tale of his wanderings with Neal Cassady, instantly established his reputation as a spokesman for the Beat Generation. His friends, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs Jr., were strongly supportive when conservative critics of the day were upset by the subject matter of the book and by what Kerouac called his "spontaneous prose." Although his new-found fame helped to promote his previously unpublished books, he was profoundly disturbed by his loss of privacy. He lost his gift for high-speed writing, drank heavily, and tried to escape his notoriety by living in California. His last major work, Big Sur (1962), described the price he paid for success, and he lived out his final years back in Lowell with his mother.
References in periodicals archive ?
The interaction between narrator and the girl who likes Jack Kerouac becomes sexual until finally the relationship between fictional event and commentary upon the fiction is almost dizzyingly self-reflexive.
Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac.
And if there is a cause to love Jack Kerouac, it is because he articulated a spiritual hunger for a taste of a greater freedom and reality than could be found in the country clubs of Eisenhower's America.
Because Jack Kerouac is prolific, selecting titles by Kerouac for a course on the Beats is difficult.
Lo formaron principalmente Allen Ginsberg, William Bourroughs, Gregory Corso, Neal Cassady y fundamentalmente como gran novelista Jack Kerouac.
In Subterranean Kerouac, yet another Jack Kerouac biography, Ellis Amburn (Kerouac's last editor) uses his knowledge of the publishing industry to give the best exploration yet of how Kerouac was published and marketed, the impact of this, and how he and other Beats were enmeshed with other writers and artists of the period.
Ginsberg studied at Columbia University, where he became close friends with Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, who were later to be numbered among the Beats.
Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were the public embodiment of what, in a way, the repressed Trillings--and in some way, much of the nation--privately yearned for in the years after World War II.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s he also began to associate with <IR> JACK KEROUAC </IR> and others of the <IR> BEAT GENERATION </IR> in New York City, accumulating a reputation that made him a character in the literature of others while Ginsberg was still young.
NEW YORK -- Several indie rockers have collaborated on a disc that pays tribute to a Jack Kerouac novel -- and it's not ''On the Road.
He examines the work of James Agee, Jack Kerouac, Maxine Hong Kingston, Russell Banks, and Jonathan Franzen.