Poet and novelist Jack Kerouac was born one hundred years ago today on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts. He was a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac explored themes of personal exploration, rejection of the status quo, and explicit portrayals of the human condition. He had a major influence on cultural figures in the 60s. This influence continues to the current day. In celebration of his continued legacy among the great American literary figures, here is a collection of some of his works found in our library.
Libraries would celebrate his work if for no other reason than this beautiful passage from Dr. Sax (1959) :
“By Saturday morning the sun is shining, the sky is piercingly heartbreakingly blue, and my sister and I are dancing over Moody Street Bridge to get out Saturday morning Library books. All the night before I’ve been dreaming of books – I’m standing in the children’s library in the basement, rows of glazed brown books are in front of me, I reach out and open one – my soul thrills to touch the soft used meaty pages covered with avidities of reading – at last, at last, I’m opening the magic brown book – I see the great curlicued print, the immense candelabra first letters at the beginnings of chapters – and Ah! – pictures of rosy fairies in blue mist gardens with gingerbread Holland skylark rooftops (with breadcrumbs on them), talking to wistful heroines about the mean old monster on the other bosky side of the dale …”
The Jack Kerouac Society will be hosting events in Lowell, MA this weekend and throughout the year to celebrate Kerouac’s enduring legacy.