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Sal later reflects as he sits on a river pier under a New Jersey night sky about the roads and lands of America that he has travelled and states: " Kerouac often based his fictional characters on friends and family. Because of the objections of my early publishers I was not allowed to use the same personae names in each work.

The book received a mixed reaction from the media in Some of the earlier reviews spoke highly of the book, but the backlash to these was swift and strong.

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Although this was discouraging to Kerouac, he still received great recognition and notoriety from the work. Since its publication, critical attention has focused on issues of both the context and the style, addressing the actions of the characters as well as the nature of Kerouac's prose. In his review for The New York Times , Gilbert Millstein wrote, "its publication is a historic occasion in so far as the exposure of an authentic work of art is of any great moment in an age in which the attention is fragmented and the sensibilities are blunted by the superlatives of fashion" and praised it as "a major novel.

Not only did he like the themes, but also the style, which would come to be just as hotly contested in the reviews that followed. They took their copy of the newspaper to a neighborhood bar and read the review over and over.

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As Joyce recalled: "Jack lay down obscure for the last time in his life. The ringing phone woke him the next morning, and he was famous. The backlash began just a few days later in the same publication. David Dempsey published a review that contradicted most of what Millstein had promoted in the book. But it is a road, as far as the characters are concerned, that leads to nowhere.

Other reviewers were also less than impressed. Phoebe Lou Adams in Atlantic Monthly wrote that it "disappoints because it constantly promises a revelation or a conclusion of real importance and general applicability, and cannot deliver any such conclusion because Dean is more convincing as an eccentric than as a representative of any segment of humanity. Kerouac has to say about Dean has been told in the first third of the book, and what comes later is a series of variations on the same theme.

The review from Time exhibited a similar sentiment. In this novel, talented Author Kerouac, 35, does not join that literary league, either, but at least suggests that his generation is not silent. With his barbaric yawp of a book, Kerouac commands attention as a kind of literary James Dean.

While Kerouac sees his characters as "mad to live On the Road has been the object of critical study since its publication. Whereas Millstein saw it as a story in which the heroes took pleasure in everything, George Mouratidis, an editor of a new edition, claimed "above all else, the story is about loss. Some of the racial sentimentality is appalling" but adds "the tale of passionate friendship and the search for revelation are timeless.

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These are as elusive and precious in our time as in Sal's, and will be when our grandchildren celebrate the book's hundredth anniversary. To Brooks, this characterization seems limited. All cultural artifacts have to be interpreted through whatever experiences the Baby Boomer generation is going through at that moment. So a book formerly known for its youthful exuberance now becomes a gloomy middle-aged disillusion. The more reckless and youthful parts of the text that gave it its energy are the parts that have "run afoul of the new gentility, the rules laid down by the health experts, childcare experts, guidance counselors, safety advisers, admissions officers, virtuecrats and employers to regulate the lives of the young.

Mary Pannicia Carden feels that traveling was a way for the characters to assert their independence: they "attempt to replace the model of manhood dominant in capitalist America with a model rooted in foundational American ideals of conquest and self-discovery. Kerouac's writing style has attracted the attention of critics. On the Road has been considered by Tim Hunt to be a transitional phase between the traditional narrative structure of The Town and the City and the "wild form" of his later books like Visions of Cody Matt Theado feels he endeavored to present a raw version of truth which did not lend itself to the traditional process of revision and rewriting but rather the emotionally charged practice of the spontaneity he pursued.

Music is an important part of the scene that Kerouac sets in On the Road. Early in the book Pt.

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The fellows at the Loop blew, but with a tired air, because bop was somewhere between its Charlie Parker Ornithology period and another period that began with Miles Davis. And as I sat there listening to that sound of the night which bop has come to represent for all of us, I thought of all my friends from one end of the country to the other and how they were really all in the same vast backyard doing something so frantic and rushing-about.

Sal, Dean, and their friends are repeatedly depicted listening to specific records and going to clubs to hear their musical favorites.

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For example, in one of two separate passages where they go to clubs to hear British jazz pianist George Shearing , the effect of the music is described as almost overwhelming for Dean Pt. They rolled and rolled like the sea. Folks yelled for him to 'Go! That's him! Old God! Old God Shearing! Shearing rose from the piano, dripping with sweat; these were his great days before he became cool and commercial. When he was gone Dean pointed to the empty piano seat. Kerouac mentions many other musical artists and their records throughout On the Road : Charlie Parker — "Ornithology" Pt.

Kerouac also notes several other musical artists without mentioning specific records: Miles Davis Pt. Jazz and other types of music are also featured more generally as a backdrop, with the characters often listening to music in clubs or on the radio.

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Kerouac even delves into the classical music genre briefly, having Sal attend a performance of Beethoven 's sole opera, Fidelio , in Central City , Colorado, as performed by "stars of the Metropolitan" who are visiting the area for the summer Pt. Tom Waits , too, acknowledged its influence, hymning Jack and Neal in a song and calling the Beats "father figures. It would be hard to imagine Hunter S. On the Road influenced an entire generation of musicians, poets, and writers including Allen Ginsberg.

Because of Ginsberg's friendship with Kerouac, Ginsberg was written into the novel through the character Carlo Marx. Ginsberg recalled that he was attracted to the beat generation, and Kerouac, because the beats valued "detachment from the existing society," while at the same time calling for an immediate release from a culture in which the most "freely" accessible items—bodies and ideas—seemed restricted 1.

Ginsberg incorporated a sense of freedom of prose and style into his poetry as a result of the influence of Kerouac 1. A film adaptation of On the Road had been proposed in when Jack Kerouac wrote a one-page letter to actor Marlon Brando , suggesting that he play Dean Moriarty while Kerouac would portray Sal Paradise. Garrett Hedlund portrayed Dean Moriarty. While many critics still consider the word "beat" in its literal sense of "tired and beaten down," others, including Kerouac himself promoted the generation more in sense of "beatific" or blissful.

More than mere weariness, it implies the feeling of having been used, of being raw. It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and ultimately, of soul: a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness. In short, it means being undramatically pushed up against the wall of oneself. Kerouac's preoccupation with writers like Ernest Hemingway shaped his view of the beat generation.

Not content with the uniformity promoted by government and consumer culture, the Beats yearned for a deeper, more sensational experience. Holmes expands his attempt to define the generation in a article in Esquire magazine. This article was able to take more of a look back at the formation of the movement as it was published after On the Road. To be beat is to be at the bottom of your personality, looking up.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see On the Road disambiguation. Main article: On the Road film. Main article: Beat Generation. The New York Times. TIME Magazine. Introduction to On the Road. New York: Penguin Classics. Atlantic Monthly. Kerouac: A Biography. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books. New York: Viking.

Berkeley: University of California Press. Review: On The Road Again. New York Times Book Review. January 28, Conversations with Malcolm Cowley. University Press of Mississippi. Discovered: Kerouac "cuts " ". The Independent. Archived from the original on September 27, Retrieved Le Devoir in French. Quebec, Canada. Jack Kerouac: An Illustrated Biography. Chicago: Chicago Review Press. Visions of Cody.

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Time Magazine. September 16, Slow Learner. Penguin Publishing Group. Retrieved 16 April Hilary Holladay and Robert Holton ed. What's Your Road, Man? Understanding Jack Kerouac. London: The Guardian. Retrieved May 20, Michelle Lee. Skip to Navigation or Skip to Main Content. Apply Today. People bring powerful ideas to life.

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