Definitions

Kerouac

Kerouac

[ker-oo-ak]
Kerouac, Jack (John Kerouac), 1922-69, American novelist, b. Lowell, Mass., studied at Columbia. One of the leaders of the beat generation, a term he is said to have coined, he was the author of the largely autobiographical novel On the Road (1957), widely considered the testament of the beat movement. Frequently employing idiosyncratically lyrical language, Kerouac's writings reflect a frenetic, restless pursuit of new sensation and experience and a disdain for the conventional measures of economic and social success. Among his other works are the novels The Subterraneans (1958), The Dharma Bums (1958), Big Sur (1962), and Desolation Angels (1965); a volume of poetry, Mexico City Blues (1959); and a volume describing his dreams, Book of Dreams (1961). By the time he died of complications of alcoholism he had written more than 25 books.

See A. Charters, ed., Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1940-1956 (1995) and Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1957-1969 (1999); D. Brinkley, ed., Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac, 1947-1954 (2004); H. Cunnell, ed., On the Road: The Original Scroll (2007); biographies by A. Charters (1973), B. Gifford and L. Lee (1978, repr. 1994), D. McNally (1980), G. Nicosia (1988), and B. Miles (1998); studies by T. Hunt (1981), R. Weinreich (1986), I. Gewirtz (2007), J. Leland (2007), and P. Maher, Jr. (2007).

orig. Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac

(born March 12, 1922, Lowell, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 21, 1969, St. Petersburg, Fla.) U.S. poet and novelist. He was born to a French Canadian family and attended Columbia University, where he met Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and others who would become part of the Beat movement, a term Kerouac coined. Kerouac served as a merchant seaman and roamed the U.S. and Mexico before his first book, The Town & the City (1950), was published. On the Road (1957), his best-known novel and the first he wrote in the spontaneous style that he advocated, enjoyed huge success among young readers, for whom Kerouac became a romantic hero. All his works, including The Dharma Bums (1958), The Subterraneans (1958), and Desolation Angels (1965), are autobiographical. Alcoholism contributed to his death at age 47.

Learn more about Kerouac, Jack with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac

(born March 12, 1922, Lowell, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 21, 1969, St. Petersburg, Fla.) U.S. poet and novelist. He was born to a French Canadian family and attended Columbia University, where he met Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and others who would become part of the Beat movement, a term Kerouac coined. Kerouac served as a merchant seaman and roamed the U.S. and Mexico before his first book, The Town & the City (1950), was published. On the Road (1957), his best-known novel and the first he wrote in the spontaneous style that he advocated, enjoyed huge success among young readers, for whom Kerouac became a romantic hero. All his works, including The Dharma Bums (1958), The Subterraneans (1958), and Desolation Angels (1965), are autobiographical. Alcoholism contributed to his death at age 47.

Learn more about Kerouac, Jack with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness is a 1997 spoken word tribute album performed by various artists in tribute to late beat poet Jack Kerouac. Kerouac died at the age of 47 from cirrhosis of the liver, brought on by excessive alcohol consumption . The star-filled album features performances of Kerouac's work often backed to music. The music is of a variety of styles due to the large amount of performers contributing to the album. Notable performers include: Michael Stipe, Allen Ginsberg, John Cale, Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp and Patti Smith. Ginsberg's performance of "The Brooklyn Bridge Blues" is missing the final tenth chorus. This was due to a faxing machine error which stuck the last pages together when Ginsberg was faxed the lyrics. The final chorus read instead by Eric Anderson, recorded on a DAT recorder from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Track listing

All poetry/lyrics written by Jack Kerouac

  1. Kerouac (Morphine) - 2:54
  2. Bowery Blues (Lydia Lunch) - 1:55
  3. My Gang (Michael Stipe) - 2:23
  4. Dream: "Us Kids Swim off a Gray Pier..." (Steven Tyler) - 1:34
  5. Letter to William S. Burroughs & Ode to Jack Hunter S. Thompson (Hunter S. Thompson) - 1:41
  6. Skid Row Wine (Maggie Estep, The Spitters) - 5:51
  7. America's New Trinity of Love: Dean, Brando, Presley (Richard Lewis) - 6:06
  8. Dream: "On a Sunny Afternoon..." (Lawrence Ferlinghetti & Helium) - 2:04
  9. MacDougal Street Blues (Jack Kerouac, Joe Strummer) - 2:48
  10. The Brooklyn Bridge Blues (Choruses 1-9) (Allen Ginsberg) - 5:47
  11. Hymn (Eddie Vedder, Campbell 2000, Sadie 7) - 3:12
  12. Old Western Movies (William S. Burroughs, Tomandandy) - 2:32
  13. Silly Goofball Poems (Juliana Hatfield) - 4:02
  14. The Moon (John Cale) - 3:01
  15. Madroad Driving (Johnny Depp, Come) - 3:28
  16. Have You Ever Seen Anyone Like Cody Pomeray? (Robert Hunter) - 3:48
  17. Letter to John Clellon Holmes (Lee Ranaldo, Dana Colley) - 2:36
  18. Pome on Doctor Sax (Anna Domino) - 1:45
  19. Mexico Rooftop (Robert Buck, Danny Chauvin) - 1:25
  20. The Last Hotel (Patti Smith, Thurston Moore, Lenny Kaye) - 3:47
  21. Running Through-Chinese Poem Song (Warren Zevon, Michael Wolff) - 3:34
  22. Woman (Jim Carroll, Lee Ranaldo, Lenny Kaye) - 2:25
  23. Loneliness, Mexican (Matt Dillon, Joey Altruda, Joe Gonzalez) - 3:19
  24. Angel Mine (Inger Lorre, Jeff Buckley) - 5:24
  25. The Brooklyn Bridge Blues (Chorus 10) (Eric Andersen) - 1:59

Personnel

References

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