Sunday, January 15, 2017

Life-size Kerouac sculpture and a lesson in news accuracy

Blake Neville works on his father's sculpture of Jack Kerouac at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA this year.

I often forget to search the Internet for Kerouac news, but this morning I remembered and a Dec. 29 article in Sky-Hi News out of Granby, CO, popped up (click here).

It's about Grand County sculptor Howard Neville and his work on creating a life-size sculpture of Jack Kerouac. As you can see above, Howard's son, Blake, is helping, and the project is in collaboration with writer Dawn Matthews, who is writing a book titled, An Ode to Jack Kerouac and Highway 40.

The article is an exemplar of how inaccurate a news story about Kerouac can be. Neal Cassady's name is spelled wrong (Cassidy), a common but annoying mistake.* In addition, the article's definition of the Beat Generation lacks sufficient detail, especially for the reader with no prior knowledge.

But here is a real brain-teaser: Ginsberg and Burroughs are rightly listed as members of the Beat Generation along with Kerouac, but then the article lists Herbert Huncke and stops there. I find that an interesting fourth choice and can think of at least one competing possibility.

Here's your homework: If you had to list four Beat Generation members, who would you pick in addition to Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs? Please leave your answer as a comment.

At least the article's author spelled Ginsberg with an e instead of a u (a mistake I've made in the past). Plus it's an interesting enough topic and at least keeps Kerouac's name in the news.

If you're traveling through Colorado and find yourself near Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, stop by and see how Howard is coming along with his sculpture of Jack.

* I won't quibble about the article's author getting then and than mixed up or the several other typos in the piece -- I was pedantically priggish enough re: Cassady's name.


Anonymous said...

Personally I think that a triumvirate of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs is short one member. Gregory Corso should be, and usually is included as a core member, as he wrote and published early in the Beat era. In fact Corso's wonderful "Vestal Lady On Brattle" preceeded JK's OTR by two years, and he continued to write in the Beat vein throughout his life.
To me, Hunke and Cassady were muses, as were so many of their other friends in NYC and in SF who became recurring characters in Kerouac's novels and Ginsberg's poems. Both did write and later publish, but would not be considered Beat writers.
This leads to the question of the West Coast Beats, a group of formidable poets such as Snyder, Whalen, Creely, and Ferlinghetti. But with the exception of Ferlinghetti, are they to be considered Beat Writers? Probably not, but they did create the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance which was, for many reasons, associated with the Beats.

Richard Marsh

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I guess the answer is usually G. Corso.
But there's Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Mike McClure . . .