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"On the Road" Jack Kerouac ” with a personal ..

The year is 1959, a pivotal moment in American cultural history, when rock and roll was giving birth to the Sexual Revolution and everything in America culture was about to be turned upside down. Record companies were releasing more than a hundred singles every week and the country was about to explode. , generally considered a trivial little musical about The Fabulous Fifties, is the story of America’s tumultuous crossing over from the 50s to the 60s, throwing over repression and tradition for freedom and adventure (and a generous helping of cultural chaos), a time when the styles and culture of the disengaged and disenfranchised became overpowering symbols of teenage power and autonomy. Originally a rowdy, dangerous, over-sexed, and piece of alternative theatre, was inspired by the rule-busting success of and shows like it, rejecting the trappings of other Broadway musicals for a more authentic, more visceral, more radical theatre experience that revealed great cultural truths about America.

Charters, Ann. Introduction. On The Road. By Jack Kerouac. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. vii-xxx.

Like before it and which would come a year later, is a show about repression versus freedom in American sexuality, about the clumsy, tentative, but clearly emerging sexual freedom of the late 1950s, seen through the lens of the middle of the Sexual Revolution in the 1970s. It’s about the near carnal passion 1950s teenagers felt for their rock and roll, the first art form that actually human sexuality. (The phrase was originally African American urban slang for sexual intercourse, going as far back as the 1920s, and it made its way onto many rhythm and blues recordings before the 1950s.) As theatre, finds its roots in the rawness, the rowdiness, the lack of polish that made and other experimental pieces in the 1960s such cultural phenomena. The impact of on can even be seen in the two shows’ titles, both taking as their primary symbols the hairstyles of young Americans as a form of rebellion and cultural declaration of independence. Just as the characters of and reject conformity and authority, so too do both and as theatre pieces. Like, is an anti-musical, closer to the experimental theatre pieces of New York’s off off Broadway movement in the 60s, and light years from other musicals running on Broadway at the time, like (in a terrible revival), or .

Beat Generation | Beat Generation | Jack Kerouac

Dean Moriarty, the personification of the road was a "holy con-man" with a "holy lightning" gaze.

After only three and a half weeks of rehearsal (again, in an effort to keep it from looking too polished), opened off Broadway at the Eden Theatre on Valentine’s Day 1972. The reviews were negative to mixed. One hapless television reviewer said, "The worst thing I’ve ever seen opened tonight at the Eden Theatre." It ran 128 performances anyway. And then the show moved uptown in June 1972 to the Broadhurst Theatre. In December 1979, broke Broadway’s long-run record. It made several moves during its Broadway run and finally closed April 13, 1980, after a total run of 3,388 performances. It was nominated for seven Tony Awards but won none. The original production paid back its investors four thousand percent. The show also ran for over two years in Mexico under the title becoming the longest-running musical there. The watered-down 1978 film version starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and Stockard Channing became one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.

The phenomenon that was began its long life in the summer of 1971 at Chicago’s Kingston Mines Theatre, in which its authors Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey were acting ensemble members. The show opened February 5, 1971, in a basement theatre where an audience of a hundred sat on the floor on newspaper. The set consisted of backdrops painted on brown paper. At that time the show had far less music, far less plot, and no central characters. But it did have infectious songs like "Greased Lightning," "Beauty School Dropout," "Those Magic Changes," and "We Go Together," and a solo for Patty Simcox that was later cut, "Yuck." New York producers Ken Waissman and Maxine Fox saw the show and recognized its surprising honesty and the appeal of its rough edges. Two of the Chicago cast members, Dinah Manoff (Marty) and James Canning (Doody) would play those roles on Broadway. Manoff would continue her role in the film.

Beat Generation; Jack Kerouac; ..

"On the Road to Nowhere: Kerouac, Re-Read and Regretted." In Harper's, Vol.

Unlike in his first novel, “The Town and the City”, (in which Kerouac had invented elaborate characters and plots, only loosely inspired by real life events), when he finally sat down to create the published version of “On The Road”, Kerouac decided to thoroughly immerse the reader in the real events and characters he'd experienced exploring the highways and alleys of America with pal Neal Cassady.

He uses sophisticated vocabulary to describe Sal as "embryonically convoluted among the rubbishes..." once hypothetically swept up into the pile of trash(244). The rhythm in this passage is natural; after the polysyllabic mouthful of "embryonically convoluted among the rubbishes of my life", we get a natural pause with "his life", and then a nice rounding-off with another emphasis on the word "life", as if to keep a beat: "and the life of everybody concerned and not concerned" (244). Rhythm was important to Kerouac, because of the influence that jazz music had on him, and yet he wanted the timing and tempo of his rhythm to be natural. He quotes William Carlos Williams in "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose", stressing the "‘measured pauses which are the essentials of our speech’" and the "‘divisions of the we hear’" (Beat Reader 57).

Jack Kerouac, a famous American beat poet, is one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation.
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On The Road by Jack Kerouac Essay Sample

Their journeys consist of scenes of rural wilderness, sleepy small towns, urban jungles, endless deserts-all linked by the road, the outlet of a generation's desire and inner need to get out, break its confinement, and find freedom, liberated from any higher belief, notion, or ideology.

Jack Kerouac books bibliography, arranged by …

is also raw because there is not a format to the plot, and really there is no plot in the novel. There is also not much format or adherence to the rules of writing paragraphs and sentences. At times the novel is crude and uncensored, and it is confessional and exposes the characters in the raw. The overall raw quality of the novel translates into ironically eloquent passages that are neither awkward nor formal, and in its eloquence it is literature. is a piece of literature, but I like contemplate who is responsible for that; was Jack Kerouac's novel literature as the final draft rested on his publisher’s desk, or did it only become literature after his readers reacted to it? That is, does an author or his audience create literature? Because the reader can take an emotional involvement in the novel, and because the Beat writers were ambitious to write literature, but not "craft" literature, the question is fascinating.


It began to influence the lives of the major New York Beat writers in the mid-1950's, when Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg began their studies by reading books in libraries, but when they migrated to California they began integrating the religion into their lives, inspired by Gary Snyder (the Beat writer most consistently identified with Buddhism) and Kenneth Rexroth.

Jack Kerouac, Father of the Beat Generation? - WriteWork

The deliberate rawness of produces a novel that is natural and not contrived. Although Kerouac worked on his "road book" for six years, experimenting with several writing styles, the final product is the result of a "marathon burst of typing during... three weeks in April 1951" (Charters, On The Road xxiii). He did edit the original manuscript, disguising names of people and places, when he retyped it, but this editing stayed within the guidelines of his Spontaneous Prose. He calls for (except obvious rational mistakes, such as names or insertions in act of not writing but )" and commands: "never afterthink to ‘improve’ or defray impressions" (Beat Reader 57-58). So, the published version of is still an encapsulation of the Kerouac's spirit and emotions during his adventures with Neal Cassady.

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