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Kerouac has confidence issues (1 Viewer)

H

hobson'schoice

The first time I read "On the Road" I thought it was amazing. Kerouac reminded me of a latter-day Hemingway. I thought the style was so manic that it portrayed a completely original representation of character.
After reading up on his life and then trying to read his book again, I just found him so insecure. Sal/Kerouac sounded to me like someone who was trying to prove to himself how incredible life is.
Could be just be me, though.
 
I don't quite understand what your saying. I don't know much about Kerouac's life, I know brief stuff, but not a whole bunch of details. I don't understand how building up life makes you insecure. I personally just think Kerouac was trying to make a statement about life, how different people view it different from others. Probably didn't understand a word I said either :D
But, no, I'd really be interested in your theory if you can explain it a little. I'm s l o oo ooo w. See?! my w's can't even keep up with the crowd! :D
 

kerpoe

Senior Member
kerouac is indeed one of the most fascinating characters in literature. He began a revolution and on his own opened up a world. The point of Kerouac's writings were to uplift, he lived through decades of manic depression and died a withered old fruit at 47. He wanted everyone to see a life so strong and beautiful that everyone could be happy, and in turn he forgot about his own happiness and slipped away until death. Don't let Kerouac's own melancholy existence stop you from loving his work, no matter what he was still a genius...
 

Bad Craziness

WF Veterans
I am fairly sure that when the book was released the media made out that Kerouac was Dean. Kerouac denied this vehemently and said that the character of Sal was closer to himself. I'm not sure whether either of these rumours were ever wholely dispelled. Sal's insecurities reflect a lot about the time of the events. Things were'nt all that great at the time that is being talked about in the book.

And I agree, it is a fantastic book.
 

kerpoe

Senior Member
Furthermore, most people idolize the beat writers when they read their work as young people. But, as you grow older you tend to pity these writers it is a common trend. Catcher in The Rye has a worse case of this than On The Road. People read these 2 books at age 15 and think "wow, these people are amazing" and out of personal interest read it again at age 25 and think "these guys are immature little brats."
 

Rustem

Member
I could see myself changing my mind about On the Road, but I dont think I could ever, ever see myself changing how I feel about Catcher in the Rye.
 

doctor

Senior Member
Bad Craziness said:
I am fairly sure that when the book was released the media made out that Kerouac was Dean. Kerouac denied this vehemently and said that the character of Sal was closer to himself. I'm not sure whether either of these rumours were ever wholely dispelled.

And I agree, it is a fantastic book.

A fantastic book, indeed. I like to think that Kerouac was in fact, BOTH characters, to a certain extent. Perhaps he placed qualities of himself that he saw as juxtaposed into two seperate characters?
 
M

ms. vodka

It seems to me that whoever made the original post missed the point of the book entirely.

Seriously, are we judging this book on whether or not the writer had confidence issues?

good lord.

vodka
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
Jacky Boi

I never was able to get into On the Road. Judging from back covers, I think I'd enjoy Dharma Bums much more. Maybe I'll give him another chance, but only because Vodka is enraged. Which is hot.
 
M

ms. vodka

To completely disregard the merit of Kerouac's work is writerly blasphemy.

Especially because you think he has low self-esteem. Hah! I wonder how many writers you could say that about...

It reflects a narrow, juvenile mind, in my opinion.

Although I was digesting the beat generation at 16 and 17.

But then again, I am me.
 
M

ms. vodka

almost every writer has their brilliance and their errors.

if we begin to judge writers on whether they have enough self-confidence, we are venturing down the wrong road.

judge the work for what it is and leave the rest alone.

look at rimbaud... he was completely freaked out...

wrote and wrote and wrote and then decided it was a complete waste of time and a waste of his youth and became a businessman.

speaking of dominated by one's mother...

but that doesn't make the work he produced at the time worth any less.

there are plenty of writers i know of on this forum, in fact, who are producing the best work here that are suffering from serious lack of self confidence.

in my opinion, it's irrelevant.

vodka
 

strangedaze

Senior Member
I agree with Starr, as much as it pains me to say. On the Road might be his masterpiece, but some of his other work that I've looked at really seem second rate.

But I also agree with Vodka when she says that it doesn't matter whether a writer has confidence issues. I mean, it matters in the sense that it's going to affect the piece, for the good or the bad, but good works have been published by writers with no confidence, and vise versa.
 
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