“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Dear students, we started our academic year with the Romantic poets and “Mad Shelley”. Now it’s the end of our English class together and (quoting Shakespeare) “the wheel has come full circle”.
As usual while I was preparing your next lesson I had a look at You Tube and found some incredible videos. I find it so incredibly interesting when I can “give VOICE, MUSIC & FACES” to all the concepts and books I had studied and read but never … seen alive if not in my imagination. Your approach to this topic and this last author of ours is going to be so different from mine. You can now hear Kerouac’s voice while he reads his own work ( so fundamental to appreciate the “beat” and flow!), you can see him and the images of New York in the background, you can have it explained sitting at your desk and have a taste of Jazz music. I really hope you’ll appreciate all this and one day…while driving around the USA, you’ll … remember your “crazy” teacher of English 🙂
Dal programma Cult Book in italiano ( la pronuncia di Kerouac e’ errata. Corretta = Keruac)
The next Clip is an American introduction to the author and book. Lovely jazz music in the background. ““I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
Jack Kerouac, interviewed by William F. Buckley Jr. from a documentary on the soul of the Beat Generation. Beat, (a)politics, (non)hippies, drunkenness and television.. ”Everything is going to the beat — It’s the beat generation, it be-at, it’s the beat to keep, it’s the beat of the heart, it’s being beat and down in the world and like old-time lowdown and like in ancient civilizations the slave boatmen rowing galleys to a beat and servants spinning pottery to a beat…” Jack Kerouac – Desolation Angels
This is the link to GOOGLE MAP of Kerouac’s On the Road.
Kerouac reading the last page of “On the Road” with pictures of Jack and Neal.
I even came across a video of Johnny Depp reading Kerouac ( you never know what you’ll end up with while searching YouTube!!), a strange interpretation of his philosophy of living for “kicks”. It certainly conveys that psychedelic atmosphere.
Un doveroso omaggio a Fernanda Pivano che ci ha lasciati il 18 agosto 2009 e grazie alla quale l’Italia ha conosciuto gli scrittori e la letteratura americana. Una grande donna, non so se ne parlerete mai in Italiano ma non può venire dimenticata!
I cannot help adding also some stunning photos of Big Sur. I drove from L.A. to San Francisco in 1988 and still haven’t forgotten those fantastic views. Should you go to California one day you cannot miss the City Light Bookstore in San Francisco.
Trailer of the movie (2012) directed by Walter Salles featuring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Alice Braga, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst, and Viggo Mortensen.
I’m now adding two videos we’ll watch in class. The first is the poem AMERICA by Allen Ginsberg with the music of Tom Waits.
The next “Howl” is a poem written by Allen Ginsberg in 1955. The poem is considered to be one of the great works of the Beat Generation. “Howl” was originally written as a performance piece, but it was later published by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books. The poem was originally considered to be obscene, and Ferlinghetti was arrested and charged with its publication. On October 3, 1957, Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that the poem was not obscene.
TASK: After finishing our module on the Beat Generation leave your “last optional” comment of your English literature class 😉