On the Road – Jack Kerouac. So far kind of unimpressed. I had high expectations, and I guess Hunter S Thompson is an impossible act to follow. Suspect I will struggle to maintain enough interest to finish it.
Howl and Other Poems – Allen Ginsberg. Brilliant.
- “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
- dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix;
- Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection
- to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.”
I recommend that you stick with Kerouac. He was an entirely different sort of chaaracter than Thompson. The latter was an out-of -control reactionary and extreme right winger; the former was one of the original founders of the Beat generatiion. He too railed at society and convention but from a in a more leftist or socialist viewpoint. He decried much of what he saw in American society, but unlike Thompson, his rejection was more because of its inequities and its harshness on the marginalized – those who could never pursue the American dream because of colour, or poverty, or sheer lack of opportunity. Thompson celebrated much of what Kerouac despised. Anyway, they were a generation apart in their thinking. Kerouac was a true groundbreaker, even if he’s difficult to understand at times. But you have to look at it from the standpoint of the post war generation and the suffocating emphasis on thought conformity that sprang from the Cold War. Different men, different times.