Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hey Jack Kerouac...

I'm ashamed to admit it. In 36 years of life I had never read one sentence of a work written by Jack Kerouac. In fact I only vaguely knew that he was an author and a poet, mainly because of that song by 10,000 Maniacs. A couple of months ago I was listening to talk radio and was intrigued by what I heard about him. I always had a sense of wanderlust, you may remember my trip across the high desert. Well lately I've been dreaming of being "On the Road" again so I decided to buy that book and I'm hooked. If you've never read Kerouac I highly recommend it. In any case I'm currently reading Kerouac's book Dharma Bums.

On Thursday morning my beautiful wife, Ana and I will be flying to San Diego where we'll be renting a car. For the next nine days we'll be driving up the California coast to San Francisco and here's the fun part: I'm taking you all with me. I'll be "On the Road Blogging" for the duration of the trip. We won't be hopping any freight cars or hitchhiking but we'll be driving through some of the most spectacular scenery this country has to offer. I'll post plenty of pictures and descriptions. So make a point to drop by each morning and read about our progress.

PS: Jack Kerouac never liked being associated with the anti-war hippies that followed the beatniks and before he died he renounced many of his former colleagues because he always thought of himself as a conservative. But college professors won't tell you that Kerouac counted William F. Buckley among his friends and that he was an anti-communist and he in favor of the Vietnam war. That's why why blogs are here. To set the record straight.


Juan Paxety said...

You are absolutely right. When Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters drove the magic bus across the country, piloted by Neal Cassady (called Dean Moriarity in On The Road) - they met Allen Ginsberg and Kerouac in, I believe, New York. Ginsberg loved these original hippies - Kerouac didn't care for them at all. IIRC, some of the meeting is described in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

It's too bad it took about 10-years for Kerouac to find a publisher for On The Road. If he had found success earlier, he may have found some control of his alcoholism. But then, we may not have had the Jack Kerouac we know, either.

Look forward to your road blogging adventures.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know that about Kerouac. Always thought he was firmly in league with the other beatnik degenerates that embraced 60's excess and ideological extremism. I loved On the Road and am always happy when someone discovers it. It's written like the best jazz -- hypnotic, improvised, and with riffs that keep you riveted. Enjoy CA, esp. San Diego. No city should have the right to be that beautiful. Love your blog, and in case it hasn't been said lately, me cago en fidel castro y su "revolucion" despotica.

Look forward to your dispatches from "the road"

Texas Cuban