Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (John Kerouac) (kĕr´əwăk´), 1922–69, American novelist, b. Lowell, Mass., studied at Columbia. One of the leaders of the beat generation, a term he is said to have coined, he was the author of the largely autobiographical novel On the Road (1957), widely considered the testament of the beat movement. Frequently employing idiosyncratically lyrical language, Kerouac's writings reflect a frenetic, restless pursuit of new sensation and experience and a disdain for the conventional measures of economic and social success. Among his other works are the novels The Subterraneans (1958), The Dharma Bums (1958), Big Sur (1962), and Desolation Angels (1965); a volume of poetry, Mexico City Blues (1959); and a volume describing his dreams, Book of Dreams (1961). By the time he died of complications of alcoholism he had written more than 25 books.

See H. Cunnell, ed., On the Road: The Original Scroll (2007) and M. Phipps-Kettlewell, ed., Jack Kerouac: Collected Poems (2012); D. Brinkley, ed., Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947–1954 (2004); A. Charters, ed., Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1940–1956 (1995) and Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1957–1969 (1999) and B. Morgan and D. Stanford, ed., Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters (2010); H. Weaver, The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties (2009); biographies by A. Charters (1973), B. Gifford and L. Lee (1978, repr. 1994), D. McNally (1980), G. Nicosia (1988), and B. Miles (1998); studies by T. Hunt (1981), R. Weinreich (1986), I. Gewirtz (2007), J. Leland (2007), P. Maher, Jr. (2007), and B. Morgan (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The View from on the Road: The Rhetorical Vision of Jack Kerouac
Omar Swartz.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999
A Map of Mexico City Blues: Jack Kerouac as Poet
James T. Jones.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1992
Doctor Sax: Faust Part Three
Jack Kerouac.
Grove Press, 1959
Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend: The Mythic Form of An Autobiographical Fiction
James T. Jones.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999
Kerouac, the Word and the Way: Prose Artist as Spiritual Quester
Ben Giamo.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
The Daybreak Boys: Essays on the Literature of the Beat Generation
Gregory Stephenson.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Circular Journey: Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend"
Cold War Correspondents: Ginsberg, Kerouac, Cassady, and the Political Economy of Beat Letters
Harris, Oliver.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 46, No. 2, Summer 2000
Kerouac, Artaud, and the Baroque Period of the Three Stooges
Sterritt, David.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 31, No. 4, December 1998
Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility
David Sterritt.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Lisped, Muxed, and Completely Flunk: Jack Kerouac Meets the Three Stooges" and Chap. 3 "Desolation Angels: Kerouac, Buddhism, and Film"
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