Jack kerouac, Memoir, Road trip
“Jack Kerouac Does Not Lie” recounts my pilgrimage in the summer of 2000, from southwest Florida to a canyon beach in California where Jack Kerouac—as I had read in his Big Sur—lost his mind forty years earlier. I was heavily influenced. Kerouac’s On the Road showed me what to do with myself. Big Sur showed me where to go. In the twentieth century Americans shifted their notions of the west coast from a means for sustenance to a symbol of post-war freedom. Kerouac seems to embody this momentum; the world and the burning spirit his work describes is a precursor to the sixties. His muse, Neal Cassady, is the common link—appearing as Dean Moriarty in Kerouac’s first major work and later as himself in Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. My parents were a part of this westward yearning’s last true surge in the early seventies, when they ventured cross-country and stayed out there for a time. They’d caught the tail end of the wave, and told me a bit about it. I was full of stories, mostly fiction. Sweating in my twenty year old conversion van with a big friend, Ben—whose goals were less “literary”—I sought to recreate the legends I had read, the movies I had seen, and the tales my parents had told me. I was on a mission; I wanted my trip to measure up. Ben was on vacation. Our folly is chronicled within; three weeks and four thousand miles of it.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences
Shrader, Kyle, "Jack Kerouac Does Not Lie" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1501.