Category: Jack Kerouac

  • Kerouac’s Genius/Interpreter Theory vs. Jenny’s Genius/Genius Theory

    We’re going to finish up our exploration of Kerouac with a couple of differing opinions on the form “genius” takes. “Let’s examine the word ‘genius.’ It doesn’t mean screwiness or eccentricity or excessive ‘talent.’ It is derived from the Latin word gignere (to beget) and a genius is simply a person who originates something never […]

  • Writing the Windblown, Schizophrenic World

    I came across this fascinating book called Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954 — which covers the period of time when he wrote his first novel The Town and the City and his second On the Road. Basically, it’s a log of his word counts, which are insanely high (but we talked before about […]

  • Lightning, the Lightning Bug, and the Price of Some of Kerouac’s Revisions

    **Be forewarned, adult language/content** Mark Twain once said something like (I don’t have the direct quote in front of me): “the difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” Agree or disagree, Twain has a point. To illustrate, I give you two passages from On the Road […]

  • Charactouac? or Kerouacter?

    “New Criticism locates meaning in the internal qualities of literary works, specifically the unity of their multiple verbal structures. as much as it values unity and convergence, New Criticism eschews authorial intent and historical context as bases for interpretation, although it allows that they might supplement understanding.” ~Joshua Kupetz, “The Straight Line Will Take You […]

  • The Scroll

    Once upon a time there was young man named Jack who wrote a novel on a long scroll – one hundred feet long – no punctuation – no paragraph breaks – no rules – hopped up on bennies. After spending seven years on the roads across America, and occasionally down to Mexico – after typing […]

  • Kerouac’s Collaborative Circle: Indirect Collaboration

    You may think that all you need to write good books is will-power, a stellar idea, and a cave. You may think that hiding in a cubby hole with a full-battery-power laptop is all there is to turning out a tale worth telling. Perhaps you’re a poet who thinks that a lonely hill, some loose […]

  • Kerouac, Burroughs, and Direct Collaboration

    Kerouac, Burroughs, and Direct Collaboration Direct collaboration, as opposed to indirect collaboration (which we’ll talk about next week) is where a writer works directly with one or more people on a specific piece. Jess Weaver and I developing the Christmas play for Springs Ensemble Theatre’s winter show is an example. Shameless self-promotion moment: Writers working with […]

  • The Kerouac-Ginsberg Letters: You Have to Write More than You Think

    Jack Kerouac attended Columbia University for a while. It was there he met and started hanging around with some other names you may know – most notable fellow novelist William S. Burroughs and the poet Allen Ginsberg. Because we can’t talk Kerouac without talking about his crew, we get a two-for-one mentorship deal! Starting in […]

  • The Great American Novel and Jack Kerouac

    The Great American Novel. Books as varied as Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and, more recently, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom have all been considered for the title of Great American […]

  • A Fond Farewell to the Dame

    Well, kids, that’s it for Agatha Christie. I hope that you found something interesting to use for your own work from this bestsellingest of authors. Stuff that I’ll take away: 1. You don’t have to be all organized in your notebooks. I know that seems like a really silly thing to take away, but I […]