Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RIP, Jack Kerouac

On this date in 1969, Jack Kerouac died. It was a sad day, one that I have opined about twice before in The Daily Beat:

       October 21, 2009
       October 21, 2008

I'm not sure what to say that hasn't already been said. Right now I'm reading Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang, and I keep seeing similarities to Kerouac's style. Abbey wasn't too complimentary of Kerouac, saying
Jack Kerouac, like a sick refrigerator, worked too hard at keeping cool and died on his mama's lap from alcohol and infantilism.
I unabashedly included this quote in the introduction to The Beat Handbook. Yet Abbey also said,
A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac [emphasis added], Salinger, Tom Robbins, and The Last Whole Earth Catalog.
(NOTE: For more Abbey quotes, visit Abbey's Web.)

But why bring up Edward Abbey on the anniversary of Jack's death? That's where my mind went. And Jack of all people would be a fan of writing spontaneously.

Jack, you've taught me a lot, and I for one am thankful you existed. Critics can dry up like tomb dust and blow away for all I care. You're an enduring force in American literature, and there's nothing that will ever change that.

Rest well.

1 comment:

martine said...

Used to have a copy of the Last Whole Earth Catalogue, one of my biggest losses in leaving my ex hubby ... he kept all the best stuff:-(
thanks for sharing