October 2020 . . . .


     Sixty-three years ago, September fifth as it turns out, Jack Kerouac’s “spontaneous prose” novel was published. His girlfriend at the time wrote about that moment when they read the first reviews of the book — disappointing and yet insightful criticism of something the established literary world didn’t yet understand. The girlfriend — Joyce Johnson — said that Kerouac had that last night of obscurity and the next morning he woke up famous. That fame never let him go, either. It always asked questions of him that he wasn’t prepared to answer in a way that satisfied. It was an “either you get it or you don’t and if you don’t, well, sorry, buddy but that’s on you.”

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