Download Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form by Michael Hrebeniak PDF

By Michael Hrebeniak

Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form connects the private and artistic improvement of the Beat generation's well-known icon with cultural adjustments in postwar the US. Michael Hrebeniak asserts that Jack Kerouac's "wild form"—self-organizing narratives freed from literary, grammatical, and syntactical conventions—moves inside an experimental continuum around the arts to generate a Dionysian feel of writing as uncooked strategy. Action Writing highlights how Kerouac made concrete his 1952 intimation of "something past the novel" by means of assembling principles from Beat the United States, modernist poetics, motion portray, bebop, and subterranean oral traditions.

Geared to students and scholars of yank literature, Beat experiences, and inventive writing, Action Writing locations Kerouac's writing in the context of the yankee paintings scene at midcentury. Reframing the paintings of Kerouac and the Beat new release in the experimental modernist and postmodernist literary culture, this probing inquiry bargains an instantaneous engagement with the social and cultural background on the foreground of Kerouac's occupation from the Nineteen Forties to the past due Nineteen Sixties.

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Possessed of that obscure and passionate hunger that has woven its shuttle across the seas. . And now for the voyage out” (Wolfe ); Huckleberry Finn’s “light[ing] out for the Territory” (Twain ); hobo Jack Black’s setting “off for the train—and the world” (); and Sherwood Anderson’s “young man going out of his town to meet the adventure of life. . [His] mind was carried away by his journey passion dreams” (). The experience is the American need to clear out of claustrophobic small-town settlement (Blake’s “Expect poison from the standing water” []) and seek “adventurous education” on the road.

That little winding dirt road going west to my lost dream of being a real American man” includes Sebastian Sampas and the Lowell-based football players on their “dusty bloody field,” who would end up sacrificed in World War II or “eviscerated of s innocent ambition” (VD ). “[Columbia coach] Lou Little didn’t put me in,” Kerouac tells the New York Post: But the reason I quit was deeper than that. I was just sitting in my room and it was snowing, and it was time to go to scrimmage, time to go out in the snow and the mud and bang yourself around.

Emerging at the end of a decade that included jailing, sectioning, overdoses, suicides, and Lucien Carr’s act of manslaughter, the Beat scene is compared by Allan Temko to Dostoevsky’s “Possessed. Terribly destructive people. . The level of violence was very high, and Kerouac liked that, and Ginsberg liked it” (qtd. in Gifford and Lee ). This recurs through the agitated lives recorded in Ginsberg’s Howl, steeped in biblical traditions of apocalypse and in the stage attitude of “Underground Man” struck by Lenny Bruce: a “ruthlessly appetitive and amoral being,” according to his biographer, “who achieved heroic intensities through the violence of [his] rebellion against middle-class norms” (Goldman ).

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