98 - 'On the Road' Map: Kerouac Traces His Trip

map-otr.jpg

\n

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell (MA) Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac, and in spite of his fancy name, his French-Canadian parents had to emigrate to Massachusetts to find work. When he died in St Petersburg (FL) 47 years later, Kerouac’s total estate amounted to under 100 dollars. Yet he’ll be immortal as long as books are read, if mainly for just one of his several works: ‘On the Road’, based on his hitchhiking trips around the US.


\n

Kerouac went to study at Columbia in New York on an athletics scholarship, but he quickly joined a group of iconoclastic young poets who later became known as the Beat Generation. Kerouac’s ‘Spontaneous Prose’, an improvised, almost jazz-like style of writing later better known as ‘Stream of Consciousness’, inspired other writers and artists such as Bob Dylan (although Truman Capote famously dissed the technique by saying "That’s not writing, that’s typing.")

\n

His desire to break free of social mores and restrictions intertwined with his experimentation with drugs – as an ‘expert’ in both, he became some sort of spiritual guru to the 1960s counterculture. He is both referred to as ‘King of the Beats’ as well as Father of the Hippies.

\n

In 1942, Kerouac joined the Merchant Marine and a year later, the US Navy. After the war, he was discharged on psychiatric grounds. He took to ‘drifting’ around the country, alternated with homely periods at home with his mom at Ozone Park in Queens, NYC.

\n

In three weeks in April 1951, Kerouac wrote ‘On the Road’, the book that would make him famous. But only belatedly: the book was first published six years later, and only after severe revisions demanded by the publisher, Viking Press. To mark the 50th anniversary of first publishing, an uncensored edition will be published this year.

\n

In ‘On the Road’, Kerouac tells the thinly veiled autobiographical tale of his trips through the US and Mexico with his friend Neal Cassady (‘Dean Moriarty’ in the book; Kerouacs narrator is called ‘Sal Paradise’). Interestingly, Kerouac never had a driver’s licence until he was 34 (in 1956), meaning that in the time of the ‘On the Road’ trips – to quote the title of a song by the band Guided by Voices – ‘Kerouac Never Drove, So He Never Drove Alone’.

\n

This map was found at the Kerouac Corner of a website called www.wordsareimportant.com. This map , apparently from one of Kerouac’s own diaries, shows the itinerary of a trip from July to October 1947, much of which would later serve as the backdrop for ‘On the Road’:

\n

New York City
\nChicago
\nDavenport
\nDes Moines
\nNorth Platte
\nCheyenne
\n(Denver
\nCentral City)
\nLaramie
\nSalt Lake
\nReno
\nSan Francisco
\nMadera
\nFresno
\nSelma
\nLos Angeles
\nPrescott
\nAlbuquerque
\nDalhart
\nKansas City
\nSt Louis
\nIndianapolis
\nColumbus
\nPittsburgh
\nWashington DC
\nNew York City

\n

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

What would happen if America defaulted on its debt?

Sure we know it would be bad, but what do all of these scary numbers really mean?

Politics & Current Affairs
  • At the press time, the value was $21.7 trillion dollars.
  • Lots of people know that a default would be bad, but not everybody seems to get how horrible it would be.
  • While the risk is low, knowing what would happen if a default did occur is important information for all voters.
Keep reading Show less