Shades of Gray

Dead Person Of The Day October 21 – Jack Kerouac

0 Comments 21 October 2011


If you you’ve been following along at home you know the dead tickle our tendrils here at the NOR offices. We spend hours pouring over documents to bring YOU a fabulous DPD every day. But today, folks, we’ve got a doosie. A REAL American Classic. Jack Kerouac was a trailblazer and well ahead of the rest of the general population. After WWII America was booming. As a nation we were drunk on growth and thought it would last forever. Kerouac got out and saw America as it was transitioning from early 20th century into the behemoth it is today. Lucky for us he recorded it with a watchful eye in On The Road. When the rest of the country saw luxury and content Kerouac saw isolation and sadness. I’ll let the obit tell the rest of the story. But, just on a personal level, we salute you Mr. Kerouac for inspiring the wanderlust spirit in us all.

Jack Kerouac, Novelist, Dead; Father of the Beat Generation


Author of ‘On the Road’ was Hero to Youth–Rejected Middle-Class Values Jack Kerouac, the novelist who named the Beat Generation and exuberantly celebrated its rejection of middle-class American conventions, died early yesterday of massive abdominal hemorrhaging in a St. Petersburg, Fla., hospital. He was 47 years old.

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time,” he wrote in “On the Road,” a novel he completed in only three weeks but had to wait seven years to see published.

When it finally appeared in 1957, it immediately became a basic text for youth who found their country claustrophobic and oppressive. At the same time, it was a spontaneous and passionate celebration of the country itself, of “the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent.”

Mr. Kerouac’s admirers regarded him as a major literary innovator and something of a religious seer, but this estimate of his achievement never gained wide acceptance among literary tastemakers.

The Beat Generation, originally regarded as a bizarre bohemian phenomenon confined to small coteries in San Francisco and New York, spilled over into the general culture in the nineteen-sixties. But as it became fashionable to be beat, it became less fashionable to read Jack Kerouac. Continue

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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