Jack Kerouac

I spent the weekend watching and rewatching the 1986 documentary What Happened to Jack Kerouac? It’s a beautiful narrative following Jack and the Beats in New York  and San Francisco in the 40s-60s and features Jack reading over jazz accompaniments. It’s incredible to hear the poetic intonations of Jack reading from On the Road. Other prized moments include interviews with William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

For summer, I’m thinking of buying myself a new ipod and downloading a whole bunch of poetry read by poets and novels read by their authors. It’s quite a moving experience to hear a writer read their own works…



Filed under Art, Chairs, Images, Lyrics, Poetry

2 responses to “Jack Kerouac

  1. “It’s quite a moving experience to hear a writer read their own works…”
    It is when it’s Jack reading it. He’s got such a natural voice and the rhythm with which he reads it is a template for the rest of us of how he intended it. Had we no record of how Jack read it, I’m sure people would read aloud his writings with a doomy bass type imposing voice (the way voice-overs trail blockbuster movies) trying to make it over-important and thereby spoiling it.

    • pairsofchairs

      Yes. I agree. Listening to Jack read his own work is a treasure and my favorite part of the documentary. His rhythm and cadence is really incredible, especially after hearing his practice of writing as a physical marathon. Taking whole days to complete a book as well as his belief in capturing the moment. Having no rewrites. It was all worked out in his head. And that to me is genius. Thank you sharing!

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