Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of writing, converting topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. His writings have inspired other writers.
His search for spiritual liberation produced his best known work, the autobiographical novel On The Road in 1957. The first beat novel was based on Kerouac's travels across America with his friend Neal Cassidy. Its importance was compared to Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises, generally seen as the tesament of teh "Lost Generation" of the 1920's.

Jack Kerouac was born a French-Canadian child in working- class Lowell, Massachusetts. He was the youngest of three children, he was heartbroken when his older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever at the age of nine. When Jack was a child, he his family went through difficult times financial wise. He hoped to save the family himself by winning a football scholarship to college and entering the insurance business. He was a star back on his high school team and won some victories. He eventually got a scholarship to Columbia University in New York. Things went wrong when he was there; Jack and his coach had issues, so he did not put him in games. Kerouac had already begun writing a novel, reminiscent of Thomas Wolfe, about the torments he was suffering as he tried to balance his wild city life with his old- world family values. It became his most conventional novel, The Town and the City, " which earned him respect and some recognition as a writer, although it did not make him famous.

He spent the early 1950's writing one unpublished novel after another, carrying them around in a rucksack as he roamed back and forth across the country.He found enlightenment through the Buddihist religion and tried to follow Snyder's lead in communing with nature. His novel "The Dharma Bums" describes a joyous mountain climbing trip he and Snyder went on in Yosemite in 1955, and captures the tentative, sometimes comic steps he and his friends were taking towards spiritual realization. His starving writers were beginning to attract fame as the "Beat Generation" a label Kerouac had invented ears earlier durng a conversation with fellow novelist John Clellon Holmes. Ginsberg and Snyder became underground celebrities in 1955 after the Six Gallery poetry reading in San Francisco. Kerouac ended up deleloping a secere drinking habit that dimmed his natural brightness and aged him prematurely. His Buddhism failed him, or he failed it. He could not resist a drinking binge, and his friends began viewing him as needy and unstable. He published many books during these years, but most had been written earlier, during the early 50's when he could not find a publisher. He appeared on TV shows, and wrote magazine articles to keep him busy, but his momentum as a serious writer had been completely disrupted.

Through his first forty years Kerouac had failed to sustain a long- term romantic relationship with a woman, though he often fell in love. He'd married twice, to Edie Parker and Joan Haverty, but both marriages had ended within months. In the mid- 1960's he married again, but this time to a maternalistic and older childhood acquaintance from small- town Lowell, Stella Sampas, who he hoped would help around the house as his mother entered old age. He moved back to Lowell with Stella and his mother, and then moved again with them to St. Petersburg, Florida. His health destroyed bydrinking, he died at home in 1969. He was 47years old.

(In courtesy of themmp.tv)

Some quotes by Keouac:

“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”

“What is the feeling when you're driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it's the too huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.””

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion”


"Jack Kerouac - Bio and Links." AMERICAN MUSEUM OF BEAT ART. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://www.beatmuseum.org/kerouac/jackkerouac.html>.
I used that source for most of the Bibliography. This website helped me with informing me on his life.

"Jack Kerouac Quotes." Find the Famous Quotes You Need, ThinkExist.com Quotations. Web. 31 May 2011. <http://thinkexist.com/quotes/jack_kerouac/>.
I used this cite for the quotes that were listed above in this page. He has some pretty good quotes.

I used this source for more information on the life of Kerouac. It talked more about his accomplishments in life, than his personal life.