Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

A selective list of online literary criticism for American Beat novelist Jack Kerouac, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources

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introduction & biography

Hungerford, Amy. "Lecture 8 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road. Video lecture from Yale University on how to read and understand Kerouac's On the Road. "Lecture 9 - Jack Kerouac, On the Road (cont).Yale Open Courses, ENGL 291, "The American Novel Since 1945."

"Jack Kerouac, The Art of Fiction." Kerouc's Paris Review interview, conducted by poet Ted Berrigan. The Paris Review 43 (1968).

"Jack Kerouac's ex-girlfriend lifts lid on beat novelist's rise and fall: Joyce Johnson's new book reveals details of their relationship and how fame blighted On the Road author." The Observer 15 September 2012.

"Jack Kerouac." A short biography of Kerouac, from the Academy of American Poets.

Shea, Andrea. "Jack Kerouac's Famous Scroll, 'On the Road' Again." National Public Radio 5 July 2007. On the drafting, writing, and publishing of On the Road.

Ellis, R.J. "Jack Kerouac." Literary Encyclopedia, 25 Jan. 2008. Eds. Robert Clark, Emory Elliott, Janet Todd. An introduction to Kerouac, from a database that provides signed literary criticism by experts in their field, and is available to individuals for a reasonably-priced subscription [subscription service].

literary criticism

Harris, Oliver. "The Holy Shit of Burroughs and Kerouac." From the conference "Kerouac's On the Road: The Beats and the Post-Beats," 2008.

Douglas, Ann. "'Telepathic Shock and Meaning Excitement': Kerouac's Poetics of Intimacy." College Literature 27 (Winter 2000) [sub ser, highbeam].

Grace, Nancy M. "A White Man in Love: A Study of Race, Gender, Class, and Ethnicity in Jack Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Tristessa." College Literature 27 (Winter 2000) pp 39-62 [sub ser, enotes, has 10 more scholarly articles on Kerouac].

Harris, Oliver. "Cold War Correspondents: Ginsberg, Kerouac, Cassady, and the Political Economy of Beat Letters." Twentieth Century Literature, 46, 2 (Summer 2000) [sub ser, questia].

Mortenson, Erik R. "Beating time: Configurations of temporality in Jack Kerouac's On the Road." College Literature, 28, 3 (Fall 2001) pp 51-67 [first page only, jstor].

Johnson, Ronna C. "'You're Putting Me On': Jack Kerouac and the Postmodern Emergence." College Literature 27, 1 (Winter 2000) pp 22-38. Special issue on teaching beat literature. [First page only, jstor.]

Holton, Robert. "Kerouac Among the Fellahim: On The Road To The Postmodern." Modern Fiction Studies 41, 2 (Summer 1995) pp 265-83 [extract].

Sørensen, Bent. "An On & Off Beat: Kerouac's Beat Etymologies." Philament 3 (2004).

web sites

"Jack Kerouac: Present at the Creation." National Public Radio, 2002. An extended introduction to Kerouac.

"Dharma beat." Ed. Attila Gyenis. Kerouac articles, news, information, and links.

"Jack Kerouac Chronology." Cosmic Baseball.

Beat Angel: The Spirit of Kerouac. Information about the independent film.

Lowell Blues. A film by Henry Ferrini fuses visual history, language and jazz into a 30-minute film poem about the town where Kerouac grew up, includes video clip.

One Fast Move or I’m Gone (2008). A film by Curt Worden honoring Kerouac's 1962 novel Big Sur, with appearances by David Amram, Carolyn Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Joyce Johnson, Michael McClure, Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, and Tom Waits.

book reviews

Abbott, Keith. A review of Book of Haikus, by Jack Kerouac, edited by Regina Weinreich. Abbott maintains that Kerouac "wrote the largest body of the best haiku in the English language." Rain Taxi magazine, Winter, 2003/2004.

Charters, Ann. A review of Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac on the Road by Isaac Gewirtz (The New York Public Library, 2007). The Beat Review 2, 1 (Jan. 2008).

Grace, Nancy M. A review of You’ll Be Okay: My Life with Jack Kerouac by Edie Kerouac-Parker. City Lights Books, 2007. The Beat Review 1, 2 (Oct. 2007).

Moore, Dave. A review of Book of Sketches by Jack Kerouac, introduction by George Condo (Penguin, 2006). The Beat Review 2, 1 (Jan. 2008).

Paton, Fiona. A review of Action Writing: Jack Kerouac’s Wild Form by Michael Hrebeniak (Southern Illinois UP 2006). The Beat Review 1, 2 (Oct. 2007).

Raskin, Jonah. A review of Neal Cassady Collected Letters, 1944-1967, ed. by Dave Moore (Penguin 2004). The Beat Review 2, 1 (Jan. 2008)

Theado, Matt. A review of On the Road: The Original Scroll. Ed. by Howard Cunnell (Viking 2007). Theado remarks that the editor's transcription of the MS raises problems for scholars: "Three short sentences, two substantive emendations. And I had only just started reading. Later, I compared my scroll notes and the photos of the scroll (from the Christie's auction catalog and Rolling Stone magazine). I found numerous emendations of substantives and accidentals....The lack of a list of substantive emendations means that the book, which is marvelous to read, is of limited usefulness to textual scholars. One cannot know what Kerouac typed." The Beat Review 1, 2 (Oct. 2007).

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