For the second project in our Image class, we are to begin with writing a short biography about the historical figure we chose in our last class.
Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Kerouac in 1922 to a French Canadian family. He is often referred to as the “king of the beats,” for he was a prolific and integral member of the Beatnik movement: a post-World War II literary moment that wrote about the rejection of materialist qualities seen amongst the public, experimented with different literary styles as well as drugs, sexual freedom, and illustrated inspiration from eastern religion (namely Buddhism).
Kerouac largely wrote autobiographical works. His popular library, cumulatively known as the Dulouz Legend, consisted of twelve books total, but included: On the Road, Big Sur, The Subterraneans, and many more. Kerouac’s style draws inspiration from the Jazz and Bepop music he listened to during the time he was writing, so it has a natural, rhythmic bounce to it. It flows just as a song does. Throughout his books, Kerouac explored topics that were thought of as risque for the times: allusions to homosexual actions, alcohol, and experimentation with drugs.
Since Kerouac was largely inspired by the world around him, his novels often include vivid descriptions of nature. Throughout his books, one of the main occurrences is traveling across the country (normally through hitchhiking). Kerouac goes out of his way to make you feel like you are there with him by using very vivid descriptions.
Kerouac was a heavy drinker, a burden that eventually lead to his untimely death. Kerouac greatly abused alcohol and when he was 47, he began to have internal bleeding and liver problems. After throwing up blood for some time and eventually visiting the doctor, he passed away.
Click Here to navigate to the Inspiration Board for the second project in Image (Historical Figure).