Kerouac's Crooked Road
The Development of a Fiction
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
Table of Contents
Tim Hunt's study of Jack Kerouac's writing is the first, best-and only indispensable- guide that explains this American author's achievement as an important and original prose stylist. I initially read Kerouac's Crooked Road shortly after its publication in 1981. Hunt's explanation of what Kerouac was doing with his method...
Preface to the SIU Press Edition: Twice upon a Road—The Scroll and Viking Versions of On the Road
When this study was originally published in 1981, Kerouac was still a suspect figure who was, it seemed, fated to be remembered only for his connection to Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs or, perhaps more plausibly, doomed to be forgotten altogether as his market as a writer of popular fiction faded. (By 1981 many of his books...
Preface to the 1996 Edition: Men Talking in Bars
Actual terms of his practice-his sense of style, his stance, his that it offers is still, I think, an appropriate foundation for chapter (a basis for the linked, yet contrasting discussions of the abstraction of writing those stories as novels. If this was not the present of the "city." Seemingly, that is, the oral and ...
As the dedication suggests, lowe a great debt to John Clellon Holmes. He graciously allowed me to study his correspondence with Kerouac and was more than generous with his encouragement and advice. Kerouac was indeed fortunate to have such a friend, and I hope that someday soon John's own work, the novels...
A Note on Texts and Sources
The material used to prepare this study is delineated clearly in the text and notes, but a few matters deserve further comment. The manuscripts of the various On the Roads are held by the Kerouac estate and were not available to me. My construction of the development of On the Road is based on Kerouac's correspondence and his 1948-49 work journal. These materials contain excerpts of the book and extended descriptions of its various phases. These...
Jack Kerouac is hardly a neglected writer. His novels are in print. There are now three biographies. One can find rock song odes to "Kerouac," and Hollywood will soon issue its first portrayal. But what all this interest points to is Kerouac's ambiguous status. Were Kerouac a truly popular writer, there would be no film and no songs. The readers of a best-selling writer like Arthur Hailey do not care to know the details of his personal life.
Chapter One. An American Education
In spite of its reputation, On the Road is best understood as a skillfully managed traditional novel. Both the manuscript history and the text itself make it clear that Kerouac's most famous book is a good deal more challenging and intricate, if less innovative, than has been generally believed. Even though the particular version...
Chapter Two. From Fact to Vision: The Road Book
On the Road is an important point in Kerouac's development, but in spite of its very real achievement and its popularity, On the Road is not a good indication of Kerouac's achievement. It suggests his concern with the American tradition, but On the Road was written before Kerouac had established his sense of voice. Attempts to describe Kerouac's career in terms...
Chapter Three. The Redeeming Eye
The discovery of sketching freed Kerouac from the need to translate his experience into fictional figures which then had to be manipulated like the markers in a board game. It freed him to concentrate on the interplay of perception and imagination, and the way this interplay assumed substance in language. It may seem...
Page Count: 308
Publication Year: 2010
Edition: SIU Press ed.
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