Tag Archives: on the road

Links: Poems, prose, etc. of 6 Jan.

1. Kerouac’s On the Road showed me, at age 19, possibilities in ways of living and in types of writing that felt exciting, that inspired me. I am not as enamored with the book now as I was then, but it unlocked the world for me at the time. In an A.V. Club review of the movie, Noel Murray writes:

But since there’s no plot, just a series of anecdotes, much of the meaning in the movie version of On The Road is meta-textual, relying on the viewers’ knowledge of who Kerouac was, and how the novel’s vision of America differed from how most of the rest of popular culture documented the ’50s.

As I read this, I thought that maybe this meta-textual aspect is also true of the book — I came to the book with the knowledge that it was famous for being this authentic, underground (but not really) work, and since so much of the book is autobiographical, I read biographies and other nonfiction works about Kerouac and the Beats. Perhaps all famous books have this mythic story built up around the text — the con-text, the with-text, as it were.

2. A Dish referral to questions about archiving the Internet.

3. The Dish’s Whitman poem for Sunday.

4. A thought about Rilke.

Links: 21 December 2012

It’s the Saturday after finals week, and my brain is in a not-very-creative mode tonight; were I to attempt to write, what would be produced would be mostly stale opinions selected from the closet of ideas I’ve already had (in other words, my brain’s tired-mode seems to prefer just getting by with the familiar rather than being confident enough to be open to the new).

So here are some links and some brief comments — I’d like to say more about some of these ideas, but perhaps that will come later.

1. A comment disparaging those adults who continue to live as prescribed in On the Road. I credit reading that book with giving me a sense of the openness, possibilities, in thinking and living. And yet, I too would agree that this book in itself doesn’t seem as compelling a model for living as it did years ago. Yes, there’s the movie now, and I’m a little intrigued to see the costumes and the dancing, the mise-en-scene, which was maybe the hardest part of the story to imagine, but it’s just hard for me to think of the book as being as meaningful and important as Kristen Stewart seemed to when she was on The Daily Show recently.

2. Via The Dish, experiencing a book.

3. A piece about time.

4. Paul Krugman’s comment about the conventions of pop culture (sitcoms) that we don’t often question. Another point about conventions we may not always be aware of–those of news shows–is made in the current New Yorker:

[The Onion News Network’s] theme seems to be that the objective reporting voice is itself fundamentally insane; not for nothing is its slogan “News Without Mercy.” “Once again, I close this video with nary a quiver of fear in my voice about the uncertainty of the human condition,” one broadcast concludes. “That’s professionalism.”

5. Weird collections — curiosity cabinet.

6. An interesting pop-culture list at the AVClub.

7. NPR story about self-publishing. Story reminded me how much publishing is a business, with the Simon & Schuster employee saying that she was looking for “our advantage” from their new venture, which shouldn’t be a surprise, but money and art seem less and less connected to me. Also, as I was listening to this piece on the way to work, I thought about whether books are even that important of a publishing format. More on this later (when my brain’s less tired).

8. A list of Muppet holiday moments.

9. I have never really understood the attraction of The Lawrence Welk Show, but this piece attempts an explanation.

10. An examination of paperwork.

11. A comment about violence and democracy.

12. Lee Gutkind on narrative non-fic.

13. Rewriting English prose for an American audience.