Sometimes, when you try to be funny, you stumble onto a shred of truth. Yesterday’s post led me to Google, which led me to the Google Books preview for Kerouac: The Definitive Biography, by Paul Maher. Take a look at the following paragraph, which discusses some of Kerouac’s early literary influences:
“Most of Kerouac’s friends sensed only marginally the full depths of his aspirations to write, but one among them perceived more. Sebastian Sampas had grown into a tall, lanky young man with dark, curly hair. He had developed an intellect seasoned by Greek literature, William Saroyan, Thomas Wolfe, and Oswald Spengler. (He introduced Kerouac to all of these, equipping him with his first major writing influences.) Kerouac shared with Sebastian his love of Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. Sebastian and Jack also read PM, a New York daily newspaper (founded on June 18, 1940) that Charles subscribed to. PM accepted no advertising and relied solely upon income derived from its subscribers. It vowed to tell the “truth,” was partial to no political party, remained uncensored, and was fundamentally antiestablishment. It attracted some of the best photojournalists, writers, and artists, including Ernest Hemingway, Erskine Caldwell, and cartoonist Dr. Seuss (Dun, dun, dun!!!) . PM’s principles cannot be ignored. Kerouac’s sentiments for freedom of expression and his antiestablishment stance directly paralleled PM’s.”
There’s a doctoral thesis in there somewhere, if anyone wants to take a crack at it.
Oh, and here’s this again, ‘cause it’s awesome: