Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) would have been 86 years old today. Born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac in Lowell, Massachusetts, Kerouac was one of the most well-known members of The Beat Generation, along with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
Although a novelist, writer, poet and artist, Kerouac is most famous for his seminal work “On The Road.” Garrison Keillor describes its birth:
“He spent the next seven years hitchhiking around the United States and Mexico, and in 1949 he and his friend Neal Cassady drove a Cadillac limousine from California to Chicago, going over 100 miles an hour on two-lane roads until the speedometer broke. In 1951, he sat at his kitchen table, taped sheets of Chinese art paper together to make a long roll, and wrote the story of Cassady and their trips. It had no paragraphs and very little punctuation. Allen Ginsberg called it “a magnificent single paragraph several blocks long, rolling, like the road itself.” It took him only three weeks to complete and became his novel On the Road (1957).”
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