June 15, 2007

I think of Dean Moriarty. It's the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of On the Road. The work itself is much older, and is still spawning controversy and lame rip-offs. Go back and reread the original, 'cuz Jack's America is long gone.
  • I love that book. Unfortunately, the first time I read it I was 30, married and had one kid...so I couldn't just jump in a car and head to San Francisco. I wish I had read it at 16. This is sacrilege...but for my money "Dharma Bums" was a better book.
  • ...In other media touchstone news, Nirvana's 'Nevermind' is now 15 years old, and Radiohead's 'OK Computer' is 10. *quotes King Crimson's "Neal and Jack and Me" to further delight Medusa.* *is proud that his literary effort (a mid-late 90's 'zine) was sold alongside Kerouack's at City Lights bookstore in SF*
  • Rocket88 - I am so with you about "Dharma Bums" being better than "On the Road". I read "Dharma Bums" first, a friend left it at my house, and I loved it. I was like, "If Dharma Bums was this good On the Road is going to be GREAT!!" Nope. Not nearly as good.
  • That guy Bill Wazzhizname is pretty good.
  • I read On the Road, Dharma Bums, and The Subterreans when they first came out in paperback. Snce the world I lived in was moving toward the Hippie era, they seemed pretty dated. I think the last popular expression of the characters that he wrote about was in The Rebel Without a Cause movie, released in what, 1955? (Sorry, not feeling up to links, but check the IMBD if, for some reason, you don't know about it.) But, there was one book that I really loved. It was part of his Jack Dulouz series. The Wikipedia article about him was not very helpful in letting me identify which one, but he was called "Petit Jean" by his family, and it was much more emotional than his earlier stuff. On second thought, maybe the most recent depiction of of a similar character is in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I do love. I guess it came full circle, given enough time.
  • Bryson, that's the dude. Also reference John McPhee for sideways looks at gettin' 'round the country.
  • path: Was it Big Sur? I remember him referring to himself as "Petit Jean" in that book.