Thursday, November 26, 2009

Jack Kerouac: Jazz On The Road

Jack Kerouac
On The Road

I began re-reading Jack Kerouac's On The Road recently and I have to say this novel should be listed in the top 50 of American literary stories. Kerouac's vision and storytelling was always far beyond is fellow "Beat" contemporaries. While Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William Burroughs and others were all prolific and inventive, Kerouac's writing was more appealing to the masses. Keroauc was a big jazz fan (especially of Charlie Parker) and On The Road reads like one giant jazz opus.

The cross country trek taken by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Neal Cassidy is one of beauty, grit and a magnificent description of Americana in the late '40s. For those who don't know, Kerouac wrote On The Road in 1947 and the final version wasn't published until 1957. There have been numerous reprints over the last 50 years with the most recent being the complete scrolls. This version is definitely worth buying but you can easily find the originally publishers version everywhere as well. The difference mainly is that in the scrolls features the real names of the characters before he changed them for the 1957 publication.

If you haven't read On The Road due yourself a favour a pick it up. Below is a classic clip from a Jack Kerouac documentary that epitomizes why he was one the best American writers we will ever see.

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