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.