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The Subterraneans - Jack Kerouac

The Subterraneans

By: Jack Kerouac, Ann Douglas (Introduction by)

Paperback

Published: 1st March 2001
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Leo Percepied, aspiring writer and self-styled free-wheeling bum, gravitates to the subterraneans, impoverished intellectuals who haunt the bars of San Francisco. One of them is Mardou Fox, part Negro, part Cherokee, beautiful and a little crazy, whose dark eyes full of suffering and sweetness find recognition in Leo. But, afraid of his growing involvement, Leo sets out to destroy their love through betrayal and drunkenness.

Exuberant and melancholy, Kerouac's spontaneous, rhythmic prose flows across the pages. Written in three days, The Subterraneans is, like all Kerouac's work, closely related to his own life while encapsulating his great vision of America.

..... live in the alleys of San Francisco- smoking tea- and talking of Wolfe and Baudelaire and Pound and peote- and listening to bop. And this is the Joycean and/or junk-induced free-for-all recall of one of them, an "unself-confident egomaniac" Leo Percepied (Canuck) and his involvement with the Negro (part Cherokee) Mardou Fox whose "glittering glee eyes" reveal that she'd flipped and is still under therapy but whose warm brown body and feet "in thongs of sandals of such sexuality- looking-greatness" make him want to make her, which he does, so that he drinks less and stops writing altogether until he loses her when he goes on to writing this which in all the giddy gratification and laceration of words in also foully phallic and probably as good an example of how far you can go in print without the benefit of punctuation let alone taste. (Kirkus Reviews)

Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, where, he said, he 'roamed fields and riverbanks by day and night, wrote little novels in my room, first novel written at age eleven, also kept extensive diaries and "newspapers" covering my own-invented horse-racing and baseball and football worlds' (as recorded in the novel Doctor Sax). He was educated by Jesuit brothers in Lowell. He said that he 'decided to become a writer at age seventeen under influence of Sebastian Sampas, local young poet, who later died on Anzio beach head; read the life of Jack London at eighteen and decided to also be a lonesome traveler; early literary influences Saroyan and Hemingway; later Wolfe (after I had broken leg in Freshman football at Columbia read Tom Wolfe and roamed his New York on crutches).'

Kerouac wished, however, to develop his own new prose style, which he called 'spontaneous prose.' He used this technique to record the life of the American 'traveler' and the experiences of the Beat generation of the 1950s. This may clearly be seen in his most famous novel On the Road, and also in The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums. His first more orthodox published novel was The Town and the City. Jack Kerouac, who described himself as a 'strange solitary crazy Catholic mystic,' was working on his longest novel, a surrealistic study of the last ten years of his life when he died in 1969, aged forty-seven.

Other works by Jack Kerouac include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. On the Road: The Original Scroll, the full uncensored transcription of the original manuscript of On the Road, is published by Penguin Modern Classics.

Visit Jack Kerouac's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780141184890
ISBN-10: 0141184892
Series: Penguin Classics Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st March 2001
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 1