Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jack Kerouac gets a new gravestone

I've written a lot about Jack in the past 6 years on this blog, and faithful readers know that I've made a pilgrimage to his grave almost annually since 2008. Today we learn that Jack got a new headstone. Click here for the story.

I don't know if the old headstone is still there, but I hope so. I always thought it was perfect. Unassuming. Inscribed, "He honored life." And what about Stella? I don't see her name on the new stone.

 I'm going to wait to weigh in on the new stone until after I see it in person in a couple of weeks. I'll definitely let you know what I think in my 2014 Report from Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Regardless of what I think, Jack doesn't care. He's safe in heaven dead.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jack Kerouac's On the Road is 57 years old today

On the Road was published 57 years ago today. It's always a good time to go back in time and read the rave review that helped launch Kerouac into literary fame. Click here to read it.

As reviewer Gilbert Millstein said on September 5, 1957:
"On the Road" is the second novel by Jack Kerouac, and its publication is a historic occasion in so far as the exposure of an authentic work of art is of any great moment in an age in which the attention is fragmented and the sensibilities are blunted by the superlatives of fashion (multiplied a millionfold by the speed and pound of communications).... 
Just as, more than any other novel of the Twenties, "the Sun Also Rises" came to be regarded as the testament of the "Lost Generation," so it seems certain that "On the Road" will come to be known as that of the "Beat Generation." There is, otherwise, no similarity between the two: technically and philosophically, Hemingway and Kerouac are, at the very least, a depression and a world war apart.

Thank you, Jack.