Sunday, September 02, 2007

Back to Kerouac

On the weekends I like to get up early, get some coffee, and take a leisurely morning AC-free drive before the heat of the day kicks in. After getting my coffee yesterday, I drove over to the East Bank and sat and listened to NPR for a while.

The station ran another story on the 50th Anniversary of Jack Karouac's On the Road, which I featured a couple of weeks ago on the day the new edition was out. The reporter took an angle on the book (or the "scroll") that I had not yet heard: its religious thrust.

He pointed out that Kerouac was a Catholic and that his book is more about a spiritual pilgrimage than it is about some guys going on a road trip to party. Accordingly, Kerouac coined the term "Beats" to describe his literary cohort with subtle connections to the religious "beatific vision," and with little reference to the generation of "Beatnics," whom Kerouac looked at with some distain.

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