Jack Kerouac at 100
Celebrating Jack Kerouac's 100th birthday: How the Beat author resonates today
One hundred years ago on March 12, Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. Few authors in the twentieth century have had as much influence on the American imagination—or inspired as many readers, writers, and musicians—as Jack Kerouac.
While Kerouac was never happy with his title as "King of the Beats" (indeed, the success of On the Road nearly destroyed his life), the novel's iconic themes of freedom, longing, and the search for authenticity helped crystallize a rebellion against postwar America's complacency and affluence. It inspired people at the time, and subsequent generations, to go against the grain, to do things they weren't meant to try, and to seek out new experiences.
The end of story of Jack Kerouac is somewhat depressing. He was a fascinating, complex, and frequently troubled individual. While his writing was lively, imaginative, and original for its time, it was occasionally tainted by his misogynistic and prejudiced viewpoints. During his lifetime, critics panned or misinterpreted many of his works. He grew enraged, and his drunkenness contributed to his premature death in 1969 at the age of 47. His singular voice, the tremendous energy and rhythms of his wordplay, as well as the sensory immediacy and emotional honesty of his writing, perhaps more than anything else, survives in his immense body of work.
Kerouac's link with Brittany, France
With a name like Kerouac, you could suppose that he had breton roots and was part of the breton diaspora. His parents had arrive to New England by way of Canada. But as a child Kerouac was often reminded by his father that his ancestors were from Brittany, France.
"Ti-Jean never forget that you are Breton!"
To learn about Kerouac's search for his Breton roots, visit the following article from Breizh Amerika :
Was Jack Kerouac really Breton?
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