Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation

kerouac-jack.jpgA week or so ago I ordered three books: The Dharma Bums and On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (see his picture at right) and a book on Zen and the Art of Happiness. Since I started thinking about the mystical experience and near death experiences, I have gotten really spiritual again. I find myself again seeking spiritual truth, as I did when I was 19.

The Dharma Bums and On the Road are both classics from the Beat Generation of the 1950’s. Kerouac could write and I am enjoying The Dharma Bums now. I bought the books because I remember reading an excerpt of The Dharma Bums in my freshman year in college. The excerpt was included in a collection of essays to be read in my English 1-A class. I remember that Kerouac described his own mystical experience in that excerpt, though I didn’t know that was what it was at the time. I want to find that passage in the book and transcribe his mystical experience to my blog.

However, reading Kerouac’s prose is a treat in itself. Although the book was published 50 years ago (in 1957), it seems timeless in many ways. What I like about the Beat Generation that he describes is the same spiritual quest I am on myself, people with open minds seeking truth but enjoying life and nature with exuberant joy.

I should have read these books years ago, but better late than never.

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2 responses to “Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation

  1. You are exactly right, better late than never. I’ve been reading Kerouac and the rest of the Beats for many years, and have enjoyed them immensly. At one point I owned every published book Kerouac had ever written (but I always fall victim to loaning them out). Also, on my website where I sell Literary T-shirts, Kerouac and the Beat Generation shirts sell rather well.
    Glad to hear the Beats have another fan — even 50 years later!

  2. David, I do like Kerouac. His writing is fun, his prose colorful and I understand the spiritual quest he was following. I like the whole scene of jazz, poetry and nature.

    I will probably read all of his books. I already have “On the Road” and will read it next.

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