Beat the Drums! We Got A New Mentor: Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac is best known for his iconic, voice-of-a-generation novel On the Road. Having never read anything (and I mean not a word) of Kerouac before, I decided it was time. Voila! He is the mentor for July-August.

For those who may not know much about Kerouac (like me until recently), I’m gonna give you a quick list of the highlight, or important lights — since there are some lowlights too — of his life and career, two things which may not be inseparable.

  • Kerouac born in 1922
  • Kerouac = sport star in high school which earns him:
  • Football scholarship to Columbia University in New York where
  • he meets other future icons of the Beat Generation (William Burroughs: Naked Lunch, Junkie; Allen Ginsberg: Howl)
  • 1944: Kerouac arrested/held as a material witness to David Kammerer murder
  • 1944: marries Edie Parker
  • Starts hitchhiking and traveling around USA (1947-1950 = Neal Cassady as travel partner, roots of On the Road), works on first book
  • 1950: First book The Town and the City published
  • 1950: marries Joan Haverty
  • Seven years later On the Road is published
  • Wild literary popularity–more books published, more traveling, more of everything
  • Kerouac introduced to and continues to explore Buddhism 1953-_____
  • 1966: marries Stella Sampas
  • Dies October 1969 of a hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis of the liver

Okay, so that’s a really simplified introduction/timeline to a really complex dude. But it’s good to know at least this much because it’ll help with the conversation. 

Whatchoo guys know about Kerouac? What do you guys want to know? Tune in next week!

2 Comments on “Beat the Drums! We Got A New Mentor: Jack Kerouac

  1. I'm excited about this one, because I know pretty much nothing about him. I read On The Road several years ago. Your list of highlights already taught me a bunch.

    You're sure to think of better questions than I ever would.

  2. I'm interested in reading your posts on Kerouac. I haven't actually read On The Road, but I never really liked the beat poets very much…

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