Novelist and poet Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac in Lowell, Massachusetts and wrote with sensitivity and passion. The son of French-speaking immigrants from Quebec, growing up he would jot down ideas in a spiral notebook.
"All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together," he said.
The leader of the Beat Generation, his popularity today is as strong as ever, thanks to his classic work, including the powerful novel On the Road (1957), an odyssey and revelation which continues to sell 100,000 copies yearly.
"No time for poetry but exactly what is," observed the writer who became a vagabond across America to see life first-hand and capture the adventure with all the colors of life.
Like an improvisational jazz musician he let the juices of automatic writing flow, "writing whatever comes into your head as it comes, poetry returned to its origin in the bardic child... wham wham the true blue song of man."
The hip inspiration to writers Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson, actor Marlon Brando, musician Bob Dylan, and others, Kerouac once urged, "Be a crazy dumb saint of your own mind... Have no fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, and knowledge."
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