Cover image for Road novels, 1957-1960
Title:
Road novels, 1957-1960
Author:
Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Library of America : Distributed to the trade in the U.S. by Penguin Putnam, [2007]

©2007
Physical Description:
864 pages ; 21 cm.
Summary:
A collector's edition of five works by the late Beat Generation classic writer combines the eminent "On the Road" with the novels, "The Dharma Bums, " "The Subterraneans, " "Tristessa, " and "Lonesome Traveler."
Language:
English
Contents:
On the road -- Dharma bums -- Subterraneans -- Tristessa -- Lonesome traveler -- From the journals 1949-1954.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781598530124
Format :
Book

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PS3521.E735 A6 2007 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

The raucous, exuberant, often wildly funny account of a journey through America and Mexico, Jack Kerouac's On the Road instantly defined a generation on its publication in 1957: it was, in the words of a New York Times reviewer, "the clearest and most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as 'beat.'" Written in the mode of ecstatic improvisation that Allen Ginsberg described as "spontaneous bop prosody," Kerouac's novel remains electrifying in its thirst for experience and its defiant rebuke of American conformity.

In his portrayal of the fervent relationship between the writer Sal Paradise and his outrageous, exasperating, and inimitable friend Dean Moriarty, Kerouac created one of the great friendships in American literature; and his rendering of the cities and highways and wildernesses that his characters restlessly explore are a hallucinatory travelogue of a nation he both mourns and celebrates. Now, The Library of America collects On the Road together with four other autobiographical "road books" published during a remarkable four-year period.

The Dharma Bums (1958), at once an exploration of Buddhist spirituality and an account of the Bay Area poetry scene, is notable for its thinly veiled portraits of Kerouac's acquaintances, including Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Kenneth Rexroth. The Subterraneans (1958) recounts a love affair set amid the bars and bohemian haunts of San Francisco. Tristessa (1960) is a melancholy novella describing a relationship with a prostitute in Mexico City. Lonesome Traveler (1960) collects travel essays that evoke journeys in Mexico and Europe, and concludes with an elegiac lament for the lost world of the American hobo. Also included in Road Novels are selections from Kerouac's journal, which provide a fascinating perspective on his early impressions of material eventually incorporated into On the Road .

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.


Author Notes

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922. His first novel, The Town and the City, was published in 1950. He considered all of his "true story novels," including On the Road, to be chapters of "one vast book," his autobiographical Legend of Duluoz.

He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969 at the age of forty-seven.

(Publisher Provided) Jack Kerouac, March 12, 1922 - October 21, 1969 Jean Louis Kerouac, better known as Jack Kerouac, was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Kerouac studied briefly at Columbia University before dropping out to join the Merchant Marines. During this time and despite his parents' disapproval, he befriended a group of young Columbia students and began work on a novel with the help of Allen Ginsberg, the author of the avant-garde poem, Howl. Kerouac's first novel, The Town and the City, was based on the torments he suffered as he tried to balance his wild city life with his old-world family values.

Kerouac's next novel, On the Road, a work inspired by Kerouac's cross-country trips with his friend Neal Cassady, was rejected for seven years before it was finally published. Hailed the finest novel on the "Beat Generation", On the Road explores an era of experimentation and void in the author and his culture. With its success, Kerouac achieved the fame he sought. In subsequent years, he wrote many more novels, including Doctor Sax, Lonesome Traveler, and Big Sur. Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement, although he actively disliked such labels. He reportedly wrote his prose spontaneously and without edits. He always carried a notebook which helped him to form free-flowing prose at a moment's notice.

After years of alcohol abuse, Kerouac suffered from an internal hemorrhage caused by cirrhosis of the liver. He died at his home on October 21, 1969, at the age of 47.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Hard to believe, but this year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the celebrated Mr. K's Beat bible, On the Road, a book that came out of nowhere and knocked everyone on their butts. Kerouac joins the Library of America with this ensemble of four novels (Road, The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, and Tristessa) plus Lonesome Traveler, a collection of travel essays, and selections from his journals of thumbing and bumming his way across Europe and Mexico. Road's anniversary will lure new readers as well as old ones looking for another fix, and this collection is a wonderful bargain. Happy anniversary, Jack. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.