Thursday, August 23, 2007

50th anniversary of the publication of Kerouac's book On the Road.

Few novels have had as profound an impact on Western culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free." This year is the 50th anniversary of Kerouac's classic novel that defined a generation. Below are three of Kerouac's other books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library in Augustine Street.

Old Angel Midnight, by Jack Kerouac
Old Angel Midnight (1959) was one result of Kerouac's automatic writing experiments in which he would spill his chemically inspired thoughts onto paper to see what came out. Though Kerouac was initially denounced by literary critics as an oddball, his spontaneous twistings and turnings of language rate well with those of Joyce and Stein, and time has proven him to be an important and enduringly popular American writer.

Heaven and Other Poems, by Jack Kerouac
Donald Allen, the late great editor of the Evergreen Review at Grove Press first met Jack Kerouac in 1956. At the time, Allen was working on the "San Francisco Scene" issue of the Evergreen Review, and Ginsberg and Kerouac brought him manuscripts and news of developments on the West Coast. Over the next three years, Kerouac would send Allen poems for various projects, along with letters in which he discussed his poetry, his life, and the work of his young contemporaries. The unpublished poems are collected here, as are the letters.

Pomes All Sizes, by Jack Kerouac
This book, which Kerouac prepared for publication before his death in 1969, collects poems written between 1954 and 1965. Most are playful--comments about friends, variations on the sounds of words. Yet a few extremely sensitive longer pieces appear, including "Caritas," in which the poet runs after a barefoot beggar boy to give him money for shoes and then begins to doubt the boy's veracity. Other intriguing poems reflect the poet's religious concerns of the moment, running the gamut of Eastern and Western religions.

1 comment:

Curt Worden said...

To all those who love Jack Kerouac – 2008 New Documentary
One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur.