Posted in Reading Materials

Read Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, and Burroughs (part 1 of 4)

I’ve been wondering why all these authors were grouped together. According to Wikipedia’s entry; “The Beat Generation was a group of American post-World War II writers who came to prominence in the 1950’s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition”

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I am so happy I can finally say I finished reading “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac! I don’t why, but it’s taken me over a year to get through this book. I can cross off 1 out of the 4 authors. Although, these other authors are featured a bit in the book so I almost can stop here. But I won’t, I’ll try to get through one book by each person.

I started reading this book and immediately noticed that there were no paragraphs or chapters. Guess that’s what they mean by Kerouac’s spontaneous prose style of writing. He rambled on and on about people and his adventures between the years 1947 to 1950. I think that is what made it hard for me to get into the story. The rambling, odd descriptions of what was happening, how he viewed other people, side thoughts or insights, and tangent stories. I told my mom that it felt like I sat down with Kerouac to hear about his adventure over a drink. We all get that way (mostly) with telling someone about a trip right? Start a story, remember other stories, go off on tangents, and then go back to the main story. And there’s no breaks, unless you would count another person interrupting the storyteller.

I had to ask for clarification on a few slang terms and expressions. And after a few pages of reading, I forgot what I had read before. Got the gist of everything, but if I had to go back to write a better review, or a paper on this, I would basically have to reread it all over.

After finishing the book, I am now curious on reading some papers delving into what people think he was writing about and see what they interpret as the meaning behind or into the story. I didn’t understand the difference in this edition as opposed to the original edition published in 1957. It is pretty cool that he first typed this story up on one long piece of paper (120-foot roll of teletype paper), hence why the “scroll”. Later on, he had to break it up and write on normal sheets of paper. He also changed the names of the characters in the story so there would be no libel suits. I read names like Jack Kerouac, is also known as Salvatore “Sal” Paradise. And his other main character, Neal Cassady, is also Dean Moriarty.

It was hilarious, and I don’t think a spoiler, to get toward the end of the story and have it stop abruptly. I was about to get mad, but on the next page there was a note from the editor that it stopped there because the last bit of the scroll had been chewed off by a dog. The editor also noted that based on notes and Kerouc’s published story, he added the last bit.

I thought it interesting on Wikipedia’s page that they had a section of public reception for the book. Both for when it first was published and the current reactions to it, 50 years later. I would say the perception of the story and characters probably have changed drastically over the years.

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Posted in Monthly Checklists

Monthly List: October 2016

1541 Allow yourself an outburst
1559 Attend the tulip festival in Seattle
1534 Blow off the obsequious
1550 Buy a sex toy
1533 Caveat emptor
1548 Chase a tornado
1556 Coin a great label for a generation
1543 Come from behind
1537 Consider the opposite
1544 Defy gravity
1551 Experience Brazilian Carnival
1552 Fall in love on public transportation
1539 Go undercover with a tape recorder
1535 Jump out of the cake
1536 Know the way out and the way in
1555 Live in a Soho loft
1557 Make homemade tortillas
1546 Master a kinky technique
1547 Meet the love of your life’s ex, and shake his or her hand and say “thank you”
1549 Memorize “Jabberwocky”
1538 Orbit the earth
1554 Play bebop
1545 Pledge money to public television or radio
1553 Read Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, and Burroughs
1531 Read the Beatitudes
1542 Sing in a glee club, a capella group, or barbershop quartet
1560 Spend a few days in a place where you are the minority
15558 Tell everyone special to you that you love them
1540 Wear a virtual reality helmet
1532 Win an amateur photography competition

Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley

This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.

I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.