Kerouac, Jack

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Portrait of Jack Kerouac (click to view image source)
Jack Kerouac
(to view image author and license, click here)
Name
Kerouac, Jack Gender: M
Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac
born on 12 March 1922 at 17:00 (= 5:00 PM )
Place Lowell, Massachusetts, 42n38, 71w19
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Bio/autobiography
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 21°33' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 13°43 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 13°14'



Biography

American writer and poet, the author of 21 books including "The Town and the City," 1950, "The Subterraneans," 1958 and "Big Sur." He is perhaps best known for "The Dharma Bums," 1958 and "On The Road," 1957, the classic novels that established him as a hero who epitomized the style of living and writing associated with the "Beat Movement," and serving as the Bible for Beatniks.

Jack Kerouac was the third of four children born to Gabrielle and Leo Kerouac, French-Canadian immigrants who moved to New England. With English as his second language, he grew up in Lowell, acutely suffering the loss at age nine of his younger brother, four-year-old Gerard. After graduating Lowell High School in 1939, he moved to New York City, where he attended Horace Mann Preparatory School and two years later, began a brief stint at Columbia University on a football scholarship.

By 1942 he was sailing to Greenland as a merchant marine and one year later, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he was soon discharged on psychiatric grounds. He then sailed to Liverpool as a merchant seaman. When he returned to New York City in 1944, he met Lucien Carr, who introduced him to Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. He was abruptly jailed as an accessory and material witness in the David Kammerer murder case when Kammerer was killed by Carr. Kerouac made a clean getaway from the case with a hasty marriage to Edie Parker so that her family would pay his bail.

In 1945 Kerouac began work on the account of his Lowell boyhood with "The Town and The City" when he met the charismatic and bisexual Neal Cassady, a Denver reform school graduate and car thief who eventually became Kerouac's lover and buddy. After his marriage to Parker was annulled that same year, he collaborated with William S. Burroughs on an unpublished novel, "And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks," an account of the events surrounding the Kammerer murder. Spending the next three years traveling the country with Cassady, during which time he coined the term "Beat Generation," the pair arrived in New York in 1949 where "The Town and The City" was published the following year. After jaunts with Cassady to Denver and Mexico, he made a second marriage to Joan Haverty in New York in the latter half of 1950.

During a three week binge of creativity in the following April and May, he wrote "On The Road" on a single ream of paper. After separating from Haverty, he discovered the compositional method of "sketching" and "spontaneous prose," and rewrote "On The Road" as an experimental work. Following Neal Cassady's marriage to Caroline, Kerouac moved into the attic of their San Francisco home, where they made up a ménage a trois. He was hospitalized in 1951 with thrombophlebitis as a result of heavy Benzedrine use.

Between 1952 and 1956, Kerouac roamed the US and Mexico taking odd jobs to support himself while studying Buddhism, writing and notably, attending the first public reading of "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg in San Francisco, 10/13/1955. By 1957, after traveling throughout Europe and North Africa, he was living in Greenwich Village with Joyce Glassman. After moving to Orlando, Florida that same year with his mother, he wrote "The Dharma Bums" and a year later, bought a house in Northport, NY. While living in Northport, he wrote a column for "Escapade" and narrated the film "Pull My Daisy," which was based on his play "The Beat Generation."

While living in Big Sur, California in 1960, Kerouac suffered alcohol withdrawal coupled with a nervous breakdown. During the next four years he lived with his mother in Orlando and Northport and traveled through France. In 1966 he made his third and final marriage, to Stella Sampas, sister of his childhood friend Sebastian "Sammy" Sampas. His explanation for the improbable match is singularly descriptive: "I was torn between Carolyn and Neal Cassady so I married Stella because she's Sammy's sister. Figure that out and you've got the secret to my life and work." Kerouac's_ marriage to Stella was probably celibate, and he was often arrested for public drunkenness as a means of taking out his frustration.

While Kerouac hit the road for in search of direct experience and spontaneity, his acute wanderlust left him homeless in his soul, even when he owned a home. Despite the chaos in every area of his life, he meticulously kept an archive of every sexual experience he had with a woman. One of these women bore him a daughter in 1952, a girl whom he met twice but never acknowledged. His daughter Jan states, "I wish I had known him better. He could spout all kinds of things on paper, but in person, he was non-communicative." Never cutting the cord with his mother, Kerouac was likewise unable to cope with fame, fatherhood and his bi-sexuality. "He wanted to be seen as the voice of America, but instead he was seen as a voice of juvenile delinquents, and that hurt him a lot...He couldn't take the easy bullet because he was a Catholic. But he rationalized that it was not a sin if he drank himself to death." His final years were marked by virulent alcohol rages and fierce anti-Semitism. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida on 10/13/1969 of an abdominal hemorrhage due to the complications associated with alcohol abuse.

Link to Wikipedia biography

Relationships

  • parent->child relationship with Kerouac, Jan (born 16 February 1952)

Events

  • Social : End a program of study 1939 in New York (Graduated high school)
  • Social : Joined group 1942 (Joined Merchant Marines)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1944 (Allen Ginsburgh and William Burroughs)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1944 (Edie Parker)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1945 (Marriage to Edie annulled)
  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 1947 (Neal Cassady)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1950 (Joan Haverty)
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital 1951 (Hospitalized for thrombophlibitis)
  • Work : Begin Major Project April 1951 (Wrote "On the Road")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Begin Travel 1952 (Roamed Mexico)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 1952 (Birth of illigitimate daughter)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 13 October 1955 (Attended the reading of "The Howl" by Ginsberg)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Return Home 1956 (Back to U.S.)
  • Social : Begin Travel 1957 (Traveled thru Europe, No. Africa)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released September 1957 (On The Road)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1958 (The Dharma Bums)
  • Mental Health : Anxiety attack 1960 (Suffered a nervous breakdown)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1966 (Third and final marriage, Stella Sampas)
  • Death by Disease 21 October 1969 at 05:15 AM in St.Petersburg (Abdominal hemorrhage, age 47)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

LMR quotes Anne Charters, "Kerouac." (PC quotes same biography for 5:10 PM.) Blackwell quotes him by phone to E. Paul for "between 5:00 and 6:00 PM," and him to Gavin Arthur for "between 5:00 and 5:30 PM," both times referring to his mom for the time

Categories

  • Traits : Personality : Eccentric
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Alcohol (Heavy, becoming terminal)
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Abuse Drugs
  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Younger bro died at age four)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Third of four)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Neal Cassady)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Sexual chemistry (Third marriage, platonic)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (One illigitimate daughter)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Left home late more than 30 (Lived with mom well into adult years)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual (Menage a trois)
  • Vocation : Military : Military service (Navy and Merchant Marines)
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction (Over 12 novels)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book

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