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Creator: Jack Kerouac
Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac was a American writer (of French-Canadian descent) associated with The Beat Generation and best known for writing On the Road, an autobiographical novel describing Kerouac's travels with Neal Cassady. He also wrote The Dharma Bums, which details his adventures with fellow writer Gary Snyder.

Interesting note: For a major figure of literature in the English language, Kerouac came to the language rather late: he was raised in a French-speaking (or rather, Joual-speaking) household, didn't learn English until he was six, and wasn't confident speaking English until high school. Rather impressive, eh? He also wrote a few short stories in his native tongue, which have received increased attention since it was discovered that Kerouac had originally planned to write On the Road in French and actually produced an abortive manuscript of it before producing the famous version.


Jack Kerouac provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Kerouac died at the age of 47 due to decades of alcoholism.
  • Author Avatar: Sal Paradise from On the Road is Kerouac. Kerouac uses avatars in virtually all of his novels, although for legal reasons, the names are changed from book to book. As a result, in The Dharma Bums, Kerouac is named Ray Smith, and in The Subterraneans, he is named Leo Percepied.
  • Red Scare: Kerouac's relationship with the other Beat writers was strained by his outspoken and fervent anti-communism (and general all-around drunken paranoia)- during a meeting with Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac derisively referred to Ginsberg as a "communist faggot", and at least once accused Ginsberg of being a Soviet agent sent to manipulate him. Revealingly, Kerouac watched Joseph McCarthy's televised hearings while smoking marijuana and cheering passionately for the anti-Communist Senator.


William H. Keith, Jr.AuthorsKen Kesey

alternative title(s): Jack Kerouac
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