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Author: Ann Charters
ISBN13: 978-0233965161
Title: Kerouac: A Biography
Format: rtf doc azw lrf
ePUB size: 1872 kb
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Language: English
Category: Mystery
Publisher: HarperCollins Distribution Services; First UK Edition edition (January 1, 1974)
Pages: 416

Kerouac: A Biography by Ann Charters

Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969 Biography. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book Kerouac : a biography, by Ann Charters.

And then I read this biography by Ann Charters, which gave me an entirely different perspective on the life and times of my beloved Kerouac. I'll be honest, it's a hard pill to swallow at times. There are things about Kerouac's life and behavior that are hard to come to terms with after having revered him I fell in love with On the Road, then The Dharma Bums, then Big Sur, then his poetry, then things here and there. Kerouac was my go-to. I thought I knew him like an old friend, "ol' reliable. All told, I would recommend this book to Kerouac fans who wondered about the process, the man and the truth in addition to enjoying his books. Mar 03, 2011 Greg rated it liked it. Shelves: beat-poets. I was pretty disappointed with Charters' biography of Kerouac. She's an acknowledged expert on the Beats, and certainly knew them about as well as anyone.

Ann Charters, née Ann Ruth Danberg (born November 10, 1936) is a professor of American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Charters was born on November 10, 1936 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is a professor of American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs and has been interested in Beat writers since 1956, when as an undergraduate English major at the University of California, Berkeley (.

Ships from and sold by olimpianbooks. Ms. Charters does her best work when she goes by the numbers and discusses, as she presumably had with him in person at a point in the 1960s close enough to his early death to be definitive estimate by and of him, his various troubles trying to be a published paid serious writer, and to be taken seriously by the literary establishment.

Kerouac - Book of Sketches. Ketchum, Jack - Book of Souls.

Kerouac : A Biography. Now that Kerouac's major novel, On the Road is accepted as an American classic, academic critics are slowly beginning to catch up with his experimental literary methods and examine the dozen books comprising what he called 'the legend of Duluoz. Nearly all of his books have been in print internationally since his death in 1969, and his writing has been discovered and enjoyed by new readers throughout the world.

Anne Charters (biographer and Kerouac Scholar) tells how Kerouac's books have influenced her and a generation. She goes into detail about his style and the influence he had on her as well as her works. Her main focus is on Kerouac's book On The Road and how the book should be seen as one of the most important American novels.

Ann Charters is a professor of American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

Book by Charters, Ann
Reviews: 7
It is probably hard for today’s youthful generation (the so-called millennials) to grasp how important the jail break-out of the 1960s, of breaking free from old time Cold War red scare golden age dream, of creating our own sense of space was to my generation, my generation of ’68 (so-called). That “generation of ’68” designation picked up from the hard fact that that seminal year of 1968, a year when the Tet offensive by the Viet Cong and their allies put in shambles the lie that we (meaning the United States government) was winning that vicious bloodstained honor-less war, to the results in New Hampshire which caused Lyndon Baines Johnson, the sitting President to run for cover down in Texas somewhere after being beaten like a gong by a quirky Irish poet from the Midwest and a band of wayward troubadours from all over, mainly the seething college campuses, to the death of the post-racial society dream as advertised by the slain Doctor Martin Luther King, to the barricade days in Paris where for once and all the limits of what wayward students could do without substantial allies in bringing down a reactionary government, to the death of the search for a “newer world” as advertised by the slain Robert F. Kennedy, to the war-circus of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago which put paid to any notion that any newer world would come without the spilling of rivers of blood, to the election of Richard Milhous Nixon which meant that we had seen the high side go under, that the promise of the flamboyant 1960s was veering toward an ebb tide.

But we did not “invent” the era whole, especially in the cultural, personal ethos part, the part about skipping for a while anyway the nine to five work routine, the white house and picket fence family routine, the hold your breath nose to the grindstone routine and discovering the lure of the road and of discovering ourselves, of our capacity to wonder. No question that elements of the generation before us, the sullen West Coast hot-rodders, the perfect wave surfers, the teen-alienated rebel James Dean and wild one Marlon Brando and above all the “beats” helped push the can down the road, especially the “beats” who wrote to the high heavens about what they did, how they did it and what the hell it was they were running from.
Now the truth of the matter is that most generation of ‘68ers only caught the tail-end of the “beat” scene, the end where mainstream culture and commerce made it into just another “bummer” like they have done with any movement that threatened to get out of hand. So most of us who were affected by the be-bop sound and feel of the “beats” got what we knew from reading about them. And above all, above even Allen Ginsberg’s seminal poem, Howl which was a clarion call for rebellion, was Jack Kerouac’s On The Road which thrilled even those who did not go out in the search the great blue-pink American West night.

Here the odd thing, as the biography under review, Kerouac: A Biography, the first insightful one written shortly after his death in 1969, by Ann Charters who knew Kerouac pretty well and acted as a “recorder” of his life as well as literary associate, Kerouac except for that short burst in the late 1940s was almost the antithesis of what we of the generation of ’68 were striving to accomplish. As is fairly well known, or was by those who lived through the 1960s, he would eventually disown his “step-children.” Be that as it may his role, earned or not, wanted or not, as media-anointed “king of the beats” is worthy of investigation along with his obvious literary merits as a member in good standing of the American literary pantheon.

On the face of it a poor working-class kid from the textile mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, from a staunch Roman Catholic French-Canadian heritage of those who came south to “see if the streets of America really were paved with gold” would seem an unlikely person to be involved in a movement that in many ways was the opposite of what his generation, the parents of the generation of ’68 to put the matter in perspective, born in the 1920s, coming of age in the Great Depression and slogging through World War II was searching for in the post-World War II “golden age of America.” Add to those factors his being a “jock,” a corner boy (at least that is the feel from a read of Maggie Cassidy), and a guy who liked to goof off and that only adds to the confusion about who and what Jack Kerouac was about. But here is the secret, the secret thread that runs through the Charter biography, he was a mad man to write, to write and to write about himself and his times. And had enough of an ego to think that his writing would carry out his task of making a legend of his own life. Yeah, a million word guy (probably much more than that and without a word processor to keep count, to make editing easier, despite his theory of spontaneous writing to the contrary, and to easily store his output).

So the value of this biography is the literary thread that the author and Kerouac shared. The material presented about his rough-hewn upbringing in down and out Lowell, the dramatic effect that the death of his older brother at a young age had on his psyche, his football prowess and disappointments, his coming of age problems with girls, his going off to New York to prep school and college, his eventual decision to “dig” the scene in the Village, his checkered military record during the war, his inability to deal with women, and marriage, his extreme sense of male bonding, his early and often drinking problems and other personal anecdotes offered by a host of people who knew, loved and hated him play second fiddle to this literary strand.

Ms. Charters does her best work when she goes by the numbers and discusses, as she presumably had with him in person at a point in the 1960s close enough to his early death to be definitive estimate by and of him, his various troubles trying to be a published paid serious writer, and to be taken seriously by the literary establishment. The fate of On The Road which after all is about his and Neal Cassady’s various cross-country trips, drug and alcohol highs, partying, women grabbed in the late 1940s and not published until 1957 is indicative of the gap between what Kerouac thought was his due and what the finicky publishing world thought about him. Of course after he became a best-seller, had his “fifteen minutes of fame plus fifty plus years” getting his work published was the least of his problems. While he was to write some more things after he became famous there is a real sense that he ran out of steam. And as Ms. Charter’s extended chapters on the creation of the short novel Big Sur about his increasing alcohol and drug problems and breakdowns highlight those problems and the problem of fame itself got the better of him. Although no way can you consider Jack Kerouac a one-note literary Johnny. If he had only written On The Road his niche in the pantheon would be assured.

My suggestion to the millennials-after you read On The Road - is to read this something of an early definitive biography (with lots of good notes at the end about Ms. Charter’s sources for various opinions and questions of fact) to get a feel for what it was like to be there at the creation of the big jail-break “beat” minute which spawned your parents, or ouch, grandparents “hippie” minute. While other later biographies have been produced, especially around the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of On The Road in 2007, this is the one to check out first.
Jack Kerouac is my favorite author so I have been reading biographies about him to get a better understanding of who he was. I think this book is the best bio of Kerouac on the market today. Written by someone who was granted a rare interview with Kerouac near the end of his life, Chartiers also spends time with Allen Ginsberg and some of Kerouac's other associates and friends. It is well-researched but doesn't read as a biography, but a narrative, a story of his life, and what motivated him. He was battered by his struggle to get published and when he found fame, he was somewhat bothered by it. It is a fascinating book and a must-read for all Kerouac fans.
Although there's quite a few bio's of Jack out there, it's unfortunate that the majority of them are sub standard. I read this decades ago and remembered it fondly, but a careful re-reading has brought out all the defects. Charters evidently couldn't quote from the sources, so what remains is a botch of a biography. There's really nothing here substantial, and Charters is reduced to re-wording the books... She also has the ingratiating habit of putting herself in quite a few scenes. Yet she's the only one of Kerouac's many biographers that actually met the man, and her telling of meeting him to do his bibliography is a good representation of the mans sad later years. Thus the need to repeat head-shaking incidents, ad nauseam, is avoided... Kerouac's wife Stella and his mother weren't happy with the first edition of this book, as it reported that Jack's sister Nin committed suicide (the woman died of a heart attack). Nicosia's is the far better bio, but it sags under its own bloated grandiosity. Brinkley was supposed to the Authorized Biography, but evidently that fell through. I feel his would've been the best. But we'll never know.
There are certain books you read, re-read, live and re-read. On the Road was one of them for me. I read it in college, went to San Francisco to become a beatnik only to discover I was fifteen years too late. But ever since, I have dreamed the book, oh not as literature but as the adventure it would always be.

It was reluctance that I read this biography of Kerouac my wife got me from the library. But, I found surprising parallels that kept me going. I was raised Catholic, I tried Zen Buddhism and then drifted away from it.

I did not want to read about Kerouac’s alcoholism and depression later in life, but I did and for me, as for him, it was like a roman candle in the sky…all of a sudden it was over, gone.

Perhaps we need to wake from a dream. Find closure, but what we remember is the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, exploding like a spider across the sky. Everyone going. “Awwwww.”


He stomped across the yard. Through the lighted window

he could see his mother washing supper dishes.

Jack admired the lighted tree in his sister’s living room

while watching the Christmas service from St. Patrick’s

on television.

He wanted to be a wanderer, a “Dharma Bum.” His sister

and her husband weren’t interested. His mother was called

to New York for a funeral.

A funeral reminded him of his older brother Gerald, who

died at only nine years old.

He called Jack “Little Cabbage, Little Wolf, Piece of Butter.”

And at the time of Gerald’s death, Jack expected some

“holy transformation.” A Catholic Resurrection.

Sitting in his sister’s dim kitchen, scribbling with pencil in his

notebook, while his sister hung out clothes in the backyard

with wooden pins in her mouth, he remembered his mother

looking toward the clothesline one December morning and

seeing Gerald come home from school early, dragging his

feet, having fainted in front of the nuns, too weak to be out

of bed again. He would eat a pork chop in his sister’s Rocky

Mount kitchen an hour or so after finishing his novel.

He had eaten one in Lowell, Massachusetts, for lunch the

day of Gerald’s funeral.

– J. Lehman (about Jack Kerouac) www.RosebudBookReviews.com