Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

by Edgar Allen Poe, William Saroyan, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson

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Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:36 pm

Comment on Kerouac's writing style in the final essay. You may also compare or contrast it to the previous essays or any other of his writings. But keep this question just to style, not content.
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby sweetchia » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:55 pm

Liz wrote:Comment on Kerouac's writing style in the final essay. You may also compare or contrast it to the previous essays or any other of his writings. But keep this question just to style, not content.


We touched on this a bit yesterday, discussing his "stream of consciousness" style in On the Road and how that seemed easier to digest than his style of writing in this essay, which I have described as a 'rant'. In a way though', while perhaps more wordy and therefore, difficult to move through, his essay was too, stream of concious, as he seemed to have used the page to vent every thought cluttering his troubled mind. The essay felt like a mind-dump and he was this way, at times, in his journals as well, so I think it was a very natural style of writing for him. On The Road was more palatable, I think, because he had to work through his thoughts first in order to formulate a well crafted story. However, in an essay, he could really just let go and vent to his heart's content. I do also feel, while I've not read a wide variety of his essay writings, that the emotional place he was in might have contributed to the style of this particular essay, if not so much in form, but in tone. He was clearly angry and I feel his stream of consciousness style was heightened by that anger.
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby deppaura » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:33 pm

I hear jazz in his writing. BeBop and Jazzzzzz.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 10, 2009 8:55 pm

Ooh nice answers! :applause:

Sweetchia, his writing in this essay was not only stream but more like a violent flood of consciousness. Thus “the deluge”.

Deppaura, now that you pointed it out, I hear the music too.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby gemini » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:00 pm

I must agree with sweetchia again. This last essay was a rant and it's hard to give it a style when it's so wordy and cluttered.

It can't be said that he doesn't have a great vocabulary and interest in a variety of subjects, but there were too many to follow. If its a style, he is more asking himself a question and thinking out loud, and writes it that way without thinking it through how it will appear to the reader.
To be honest, I lost interest a couple times and had to force myself to wade through it. If there is music, its noisy. :biggrin:
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby Liz » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:21 pm

It was definitely self-serving, gemini. I think "mind-dump" is a good description, sweetchia. It was like he had to get it all out of his system while he was still alive.
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:45 am

I read it a second time last night. In spite of the long sentences and the wide variety of subject matter, it did seem to have more coherence than at first glance. I even saw a flash of humor here and there.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby Liz » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:03 pm

I would agree, nebraska. I read certain excerpts of it a second time, and they made a little bit more sense. But I think to understand it, one has to be familiar with Kerouac, be up on recent events and be familiar with the political and social climate of the time. There is fodder for no less than 20 tidbits in that one piece. :lol:
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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby Buster » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:07 pm

Compared to much of his earlier writing, this seems jaded. His earlier work had an exuberance and sense of wonder that he seems to have lost here. Jazz and bebop, to me epitomize emotional exploration and freedom, and that is a good definition of what the beats were looking for.
The intensity is still there in Deluge, but the fascination with the world is gone. Hunter's "wave" has rolled back, and Kerouac is left with bitterness.

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby deppaura » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:43 pm

There is an interesting writing concept or application regarding Kerouac's style. Don't know if it reflects his entire writing approach and wish I were talented enough to direct all to a site. But, if you check out Essentials of Spontaneous Prose and/or Essentials of Spontaneous Bop Prose which somehow is connected to Zen Buddhism. Very interesting and enlightening!!

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Re: Jack Kerouac Question #2 - Writing Style

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:51 pm

I agree that his writing in this later piece has a totally different feel, much less upbeat and more jaded and angry. Below is the link I think deppaura might be referring to:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!


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