Jack Kerouac Is Alive and Well at 90!

Jack Kerouac, beat poetsWell, only in memory and legend and of-course the world of literature, but I do love to think if Jack were alive to day, what would he be doing at the tender age of 90 and what would he have accomplished?

So its March 12, it’s Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday, and this has me thinking about this wonderful writer, how I discovered him and how he brought literature especially poetry alive and jumping of the page to be lodged like cement in my brain. I have read nearly everything belonging to Jack Kerouac and I am currently reading through every novel he has written simply because I enjoy his style and pace of writing, the simplicity of the stories, and the timeline they are situated in.

Jack Kerouac, on the roadThe first time I came across Kerouac’s work was not his famous ‘On the Road’ book (see new movie video below) but my favourite book ‘The Dharma Bums,’ a book that introduced me to many new aspects such as Haiku, Chinese and Japanese writers, Gary Snyder aka Japhy Rhyder, the poetry scene of San Fransisco in the 1950’s and Allen Ginsbergs reading of the famous Howl, I found all this very exhilarating, very inspirational, ‘The Dharma Bums‘ simple story struck a chord with me, a really beautiful book and one that was to lead me to a whole new scene of writing, influence me, introduce me to a load of new writers, some living, most passed on, but really open my mind to be a better person and writer.

What Would You Do Jack?

I am a huge Jack Fan. I wonder, if he was in good health at the age of 90, how many books would he have by now? Jack died at the age of 47 in 1969. Within this short life he had written a bucket load of novels and poetry books, a monster for writing. I have just finished reading ‘The Sea is My Brother” an apparent lost first novel that was released last year. I know, if Jack were alive today, this novel would not have been released the way it was. It is totally unfinished, very short and written by an immature writer. It would have been tided up and made in to a masterpiece I am sure as the potential for a story of a younger Jack and sea-travels would have  been very enticing to all Jack fans.

Jack Kerouac, neal cassidyAt 90, by now, I can only imagine the vast amount of novels and poetry books Jack would have provided for his adoring population of hungry readers like me. What annoys me is that it was alcohol that once again destroyed a great writer. The idea of people been legends or cult figures because of the alcohol and drugs consumption is really ridiculous and pees me off.

The likes of Jack, Brendan Behan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dylan Thomas and Jim Morrison and others, if you were to tell me they are all legends because the died of drinking, then you are a fool. I would love these guys to live on, keep the work coming from their amazing minds. Morrison, dead by 27, what a waste, potential to be a great writer (scrap the rock life) and no poetry book ever released, what a waste.

When a writer prematurely dies on us, we miss out on future great works. What Jack would have brought out as he got older we will never know. For now, just enjoy what we have, a mountain of great work, so happy birthday Jack!

Further Reading:

Book Review: The Sea Is My Brother: The Lost Novel, By Jack Kerouac

 

 

 

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