Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15: On Connections

Today's Kerouaction

Jack made connections in his writing. Literary. Spiritual. Sociological. Philosophical. Psychological.

He often dropped references to other authors, their works, their concepts.

Making connections is a beat thing to do. Sometimes you get somewhere you never expected. And it's the process that's important, not the outcome.

For example, I was trying to make a connection between Jack Kerouac and the Ides of March, which today is (you know, the day Caesar was assassinated). Right away, Googling brings up this article: Did you say Ides of March?. But it's a sketchy connection.

However, a little more research reveals that American author Thornton Wilder (famous for his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Bridge of San Luis Rey) wrote a novel called Ides of March. Wilder wrote a play titled "The Skin of Our Teeth" that Joseph Campbell and Robert Morton Robinson claimed was a result of unacknowledge borrowing from James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake.

I can't establish a direct Kerouac-Wilder link, but Kerouac named Joyce as one of his most important influences. Also, Wilder hung out with Hemingway, a Kerouac idol. Finally, it's generally acknowledged that Wilder was gay, another possible Kerouac connection.

Kerouac and Wilder were contemporaries. I suspect they were aware of each other and of each others' works. They may even have met, but I'm not sure.

Make some connections - it's fun and it's definitely a Kerouaction, plus you'll likely learn something along the way!

1 comment:

Jonny Ross said...

I just found out what the "Ides of March" was from reading a post on Noah Cicero's blog (another writer) who mentioned somewhere, like most young men with literary aspirations, reading Kerouac in high school.