Thursday, October 21, 2010
Deathday: Jack Kerouac - Author & Poet
Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast, and alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing covering topics such as jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. His writings have inspired other writers, including Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins, Thomas Pynchon, Lester Bangs, Will Clarke, Richard Brautigan, Ken Kesey, Haruki Murakami, Jon Foreman, and Bob Dylan. Unsympathetic critics of his work have labeled it "slapdash," "grossly sentimental," and "immoral." Kerouac became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the Hippie movement. Since his death Kerouac's literary prestige has grown and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, among them: On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody and Big Sur.
Kerouac died on October 21, 1969 at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, one day after being rushed with severe abdominal pain from his St. Petersburg home by ambulance. His death, at the age of 47, resulted from an internal hemorrhage (bleeding esophageal varices) caused by cirrhosis, the result of a lifetime of heavy drinking. Kerouac is buried in his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.
These photographs of Jack Kerouac's grave were taken by Brian Aldrich during his summer 1985 trip to Lowell.