Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jack Kerouac Month!

I hereby proclaim this Jack Kerouac Month, given that Jack's birthday was March 12, 1922. I recently learned that a couple of different people I know celebrate the entire month of their birth, not just the particular day. Doesn't Jack deserve equal treatment?

I think so.

In honor of Jack Kerouac Month, I am going to attempt to put forth a Kerouaction for each day of March. Of course on March 12 we will have to post something special in honor of his birthday. As you know, The Beat Handbook contains "100 Days of Kerouactions," the latter being my neologism for the answer to the question, "What would Kerouac do?" My effort this month is to come up with 31 new Kerouactions (that is, they were not in my book).

This is going to take Herculean effort on my part, but I think I can do it.

Let's turn our attention to this day.

March 1: On Early Influences
Today's Kerouaction

For today, in honor of the start of Jack Kerouac Month, read some of Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward Angel. It's early in the month, and this was an early and significant literary influence on Jack. You can especially see Wolfe's influence on Jack's first novel, The Town and the City.

The link to Look Homeward Angel I provided in the previous paragraph is from Google book search, and doesn't include the entire novel. For that, try Project Gutenberg Australia. However, it's illegal as Hell to go to this website from the U.S., so there's another Kerouaction: breaking the law just a little bit. Don't blame me when the copyright police show up at your door - you were warned!


Evening Light Writer said...

I think Kerouac month is a fabulous idea! I am going to do a post about Kerouac on the 12th..something great I hope. By the way, I live right down the road from the Thomas Wolfe Memorial House. I wanted to go there for my 21st birthday and I did. I never knew Wolfe had such an influence on Kerouac.

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

If you post something great, think about posting it here as a comment and maybe you'll win March's free book!

Jonny Ross said...

Great recommendation! Thomas Wolfe is a terribly underappreciated writer (Faulkner supposedly said about Wolfe that he was the only writer better than himself, and Angel is a terrific book.

Here's what Kerouac had to say about Mr. Wolfe, which I believe comes from Vanity of Duluoz:

"They say nowadays that only adolescents appreciate Thomas Wolfe but that's easy to say after you've read him anyway because he's the kind of writer whose prose poems you can just about only read once, and deeply and slowly, discovering, and having discovered, move away. His dramatic sections you can read over and over again."