Cover image for Conversations with Jack Kerouac
Conversations with Jack Kerouac
Hayes, Kevin J.
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [2005]

Physical Description:
xxi, 100 pages ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Mike Wallace asks Jack Kerouac : what is the Beat generation? / Mike Wallace -- On the road back : how the Beat generation got that way, according to its seer / Anonymous -- St. Jack (annotated by Jack Kerouac) / Al Aronowitz -- What is the Beat generation? / Val Duncan -- Playing "baseball" with Jack Kerouac / Stan Isaacs -- I simply plan a completely written lifetime / Anonymous -- Kerouac revisited / Val Duncan -- The art of fiction : Jack Kerouac / Ted Berrigan -- Off the road : the Celtic twilight of Jack Kerouac / Gregory McDonald -- Jack Kerouac is on the road no more / Jack McClintock.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3521.E735 Z625 2005 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3521.E735 Z625 2005 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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There are few writers about whom it can be said that they write just like they speak, but Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) is clearly one of them. In 1958, Kerouac was a struggling writer trying to create a new literary aesthetic based on the rhythms of human speech, jazz-based improvisation, autobiography, and American slang. That year saw the publication of his second novel On the Road , which would instantly propel him to fame and ensconce him in the literary establishment. By 1969, he was dead of internal hemorrhaging brought on by excessive drinking. Though his literary reputation may have faded, the revolutionary zeal of his novels and the originality of his voice ensure that his books are continually popular. Whether because of his literary merits or his status as the voice of a new generation of writers, Kerouac is the unchallenged king of the Beat generation.

Conversations with Jack Kerouac features interviews ranging from 1957 to 1969, covering the breadth of the author's fame and literary output. Including a piece from the Paris Review and a confrontational interview with CBS's Mike Wallace, the collection reveals Kerouac-whether drunk or sober, erudite or infantile, guarded or convivial-as a thoughtful writer and complex thinker who resisted all labels placed on him.

The interviews show how Kerouac revitalized American literature, but they also trace his artistic and physical decline. The final interviews show how much the writer had crippled himself emotionally with too much alcohol and how his art became more unfocused as a result. Ultimately, Kerouac emerges as a tragic figure whose early greatness in such books as On the Road , The Dharma Bums , and The Subterraneans was subsequently consumed by his inability to evolve aesthetically and by his reliance on substance abuse for inspiration.

Kevin J. Hayes, Oklahoma City, is professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma. His previous books include Poe and the Printed Word , Folklore and Book Culture , and An American Cycling Odyssey , 1887 , among others.

Table of Contents

Mike WallaceAl AronowitzVal DuncanStan IsaacsVal DuncanTed BerriganGregory McDonaldJack McClintock
Introductionp. ix
Chronologyp. xix
Mike Wallace Asks Jack Kerouac: What Is the Beat Generation?p. 3
On the Road Back: How the Beat Generation Got That Way, According to Its Seerp. 7
St. Jackp. 10
What Is the Beat Generation?p. 37
Playing "Baseball" with Jack Kerouacp. 40
I Simply Plan a Completely Written Lifetimep. 43
Kerouac Revisitedp. 46
The Art of Fiction: Jack Kerouacp. 51
Off the Road: The Celtic Twilight of Jack Kerouacp. 82
Jack Kerouac Is on the Road No Morep. 91
Indexp. 97