dinsdag 24 juni 2014

Jack Kerouac

Ik heb On the road van Jack Kerouac nu bijna uit. Ik heb er een boel plezier van gehad. Om beter te begrijpen wie wie is heb ik achtergrondinformatie opgezocht. wiki/Jack_Kerouac

During World War II, Kerouac served in the Merchant Marine, which made him a veteran of the American military. He kept journals of his experiences, and he used them later to write other works. He was honorably discharged from military service in 1943 when he was diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder.[2] He was able to get veteran's benefits later, such as medical help when he was sick with phlebitis, and grant money to pay his bills while he wrote. Kerouac was proud to be an American, and always said good things about his country.

Photo: Neil Cassidy links, Jack Kerouac rechts
Many experiences came through Kerouac's friendship with Neal Cassady. Cassady was a handsome, bright young drifter with a teenaged wife, named Luanne Henderson. Cassady and Luanne had a hard relationship, and broke up and got back together many times. He later married another woman named Carolyn Robinson, who was older than Luanne and understood him better, but Carolyn and Cassady also had troubles. Kerouac was briefly married, to girlfriend Edie Parker. They did not stay together long, and were soon divorced. Cassady taught Kerouac, who never had a driver's license, how to drive, while Kerouac taught Cassady about writing.

Foto: Luanne Henderson                                                                  Foto, Carolyn and Neil

Neal Cassady traveled back and forth across the country, usually driving cars like Hudsons at high speed. he looked for jobs, fresh experiences, and new friends. Kerouac began to travel with him. They lived in and visited cities such as Denver, San Francisco, Monterey, and even Mexico City. They also looked sometimes for Cassady's father, who disappeared years earlier. Kerouac got sick in Mexico City, and Cassady left him behind at the hospital. Kerouac had to make his own way home. He took this very hard, and was angry with Cassady. He forgave him later, when they met again, and he made Cassady the central character of his new book. One job Kerouac could fall back on, thanks to Cassady, was as a railroad brakeman.

Many people in the 1940s and 1950s used stimulant drugs such as benzedrine, to help them stay alert. Jazz music was also popular, and some jazz musicians and listeners smoked marijuana. Kerouac was influenced by both drugs, and they changed the way he wrote. He began to write what he called "spontaneous prose", jotting down words in much the same way a musician improvises a solo in a song.

The version of On the Road that finally satisfied Kerouac was written over three weeks in 1951. It was typed on a single roll of teletype paper. Kerouac liked to type on rolls of paper, because he did not have to stop to change pages. He had just gotten married for the second time, to Joan Haverty. The manuscript was Kerouac's way to explain his friendship with Neal Cassady to his new wife. The explanation made a fine rough draft for a novel, but it did not help his marriage. Joan felt that Kerouac's nonstop work on the manuscript was an obsession, and she did not want to stay married to him after it was finished. They were soon divorced, as he was with his first wife.

The editor who worked on The Town and the City found the long, scroll-like manuscript hard to understand, and even harder to work with. Kerouac's publisher rejected the novel, as did every other publisher he went to. Nor was anyone interested in The Subterraneans, a shorter novel he wrote in three nights, about his romance with an African-American woman. Such a relationship was taboo in America during the 1950s. Kerouac continued to write, from short stories and essays to long novels, and even poetry. He tried many different subjects, but had almost nothing published. He also worked different jobs, including brakeman and night watchman.

An ongoing problem Kerouac had with fame was that people thought he did all the things he wrote about. Much of what he described (like Neal Cassady's lawless nature, promiscuity, and drug use) was only what he saw in other people. Not everyone who read Kerouac's stories understood this. Some people wanted to blame him for doing bad things, or getting others to do them. Other people wanted to do those kinds of things with Kerouac. Shy by nature, Kerouac pulled away. He became almost a recluse in the house he bought for his mother. He also began to abuse alcohol.

Kerouac was more disappointed than happy to be famous. Even though he liked some of what he inspired, he felt that the public largely got the wrong message from his books. He saw many people take what the Beats wrote as a kind of permission to get into trouble, or abandon (give up) people and things they cared about. He felt sympathy for the hippies, but disagreed with them on the Vietnam War, the role of government, and patriotism. He also lost some of his old friends, when their views differed.

Kerouac still abused alcohol and other drugs, and it harmed his health. He became bloated and irritable, and looked drunk on his last television appearance, on William F. Buckley's Firing Line in 1968. He married for the third time, to Stella Sampas, the sister of a boyhood friend. Stella looked after Kerouac and his mother, kept the public and others away, and tried to get him to stop drinking alcohol. His daughter Jan-Michelle also began to write during her teen years. He gave her his blessing, and told her "You can use my (last) name." She wrote under the name Jan Kerouac, and published novels and stories herself, from the 1970s to the 1990s. Kerouac's mother became sick, and he sometimes worked at her bedside on stories. She helped him work out the ending of Pic, his novel about a young African-American.

Kerouac wrote and reworked new material until the last day of his life. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida during emergency surgery, to try to repair a hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis, due to his alcohol abuse. He was buried in his hometown, and was hardly remembered there at first. Even though he was world famous, Kerouac earned very little money as a writer. He died with only a few hundred dollars in the bank. It was years before his grave received a headstone.

Dylan with Ginsberg at Kerouac’s grave. 1975.

Neal Cassady died more than a year before, of exposure, alongside a railroad track in Mexico. He set out to become a writer or musician, but he never got far with either. He only published one book, The First Third, which was about his youth. Cassady earned most of his money from labor, and was often out of work and owed money. He spent a long time in jail after he was arrested for selling marijuana. Sometimes the fact that Cassady was well-known through Kerouac kept him from having the life he wanted. Cassady had a family with Carolyn, but she had to both work, and raise the children when her husband was away. Carolyn later wrote a memoir.



Boekenproject 2014

Boekenproject 2014

Boekenproject 2015

Boekenproject 2015