March 12, 2017
The Beats: Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, and Allen Ginsberg
Here is Jack Kerouac’s profile by Seymour Krim written right at the time Kerouac was becoming a national figure and the Beatnik craze was going strong.
“Kerouac needs no introduction; he had the fertilizing common sense to make the infantile happily adult, to make like the Three Stooges in writing, to be tender, lyrical, nutty when the mood mooded him. Jack’s stuff often runs like a drunken faucet, but in the flow he gets a love-tone and naturalness that makes most writers blush for their own artificiality. Just for the record, Kerouac was a flashy actual halfback for the snazzy Horace Mann school in Manhattan-before going to Columbia—and had a 92 point average. This is to the point because too many semi-literary putdowners think he’s purely a belly and not a brainman. More than meets the eye here, in the sense of understanding human beings and what they need. ‘Visions of Cody,’ three parts of which we print here, is about the hero of ‘On the Road’—another and more intimate version of the great baller whom Kerouac loves—and was published in a limited edition by New Directions this Christmas. The selections printed here aren’t related, so don’t look for continuity—only flavor.”
Follow The Scene: Radical Poetics at the Zig Zag Edges.