Jack Kerouac is an author who is known as one of Beat writing’s founding fathers. He once said the word beat used by a friend to signify the feelings of despair and nearness to the apocalypse that impelled them to reach out for new experiences. Basically, his subject was himself and his writing style can be described in one word,
honesty. What could be close to his lonely heart? The answer may lie in furry creatures.
Although he was described as one of the founding fathers of
the beat generation, he disliked such labels.
He picked up his writing style from jazz, especially the Bebop. His writing style might resemble improvisational jazz licks and later, Kerouac included ideas he developed from his Buddhist studies as well.
Kerouac tried to stay authentic. His famous novel On the Road based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across America. It’s typed out on a continuous reel of paper.
Self-proclaimed Cat Lover
He was also a self-proclaimed
cat lover. Kerouac owned a number of felines throughout his lifetime but his favorite was Tyke, the beautiful yellow Persian kind they call calico.
Kerouac wrote how he felt when Tyke passed away in his novel Big Sur.
Cat Blogging Friday: Jack and Tyke and “This Strange Scandalous Death” (Maverick Philosopher)
Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever in 1926. He was only nine at the time.
Gerard’s death deeply affected four-year-old Jack. Jack would later say that Gerard followed him in life as a guardian angel. This is the Gerard of Kerouac’s novel Visions of Gerard.
He paints a picture of the boy as a saint, who loves all creatures and teaches this doctrine to him.
—Letter to Ed White
Kerouac was always on the road to search his inner truth. He would go on for hours, often drunk, to friends and strangers about his method.
Like he said in his Belief and Technique for Modern Prose a list of 30
essentials, Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind, no wonder his bottomless love for his cats put him in bottomless grief when they left.
Beat Generation (Wikipedia)
On the Road (Amazon)
Visions of Gerard (Amazon)
Jack Kerouac’s 30 Beliefs and Techniques For Writing Modern Prose (Open Culture)
Creative People Love Cats?: 5 Qualities They Have in Common
James Dean and the Last Note on his Cat, Marcus
William S. Burroughs and His Unabashed Love for Cats
Bukowski “ON CATS”: Butch the Brawler or Beautiful Devils
Also published on Medium.