Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Beat Generation

I'm enamored with Jack Kerouac's prose. Unfortunately, his plots go nowhere and the dialogue is borderline insane philosophizing. For some reason, I thought of Neal Cassady's Joan Anderson letter to Kerouac today. It turns out that Cassady is a good writer himself. But my primary concern was that nobody writes letters any more. Perhaps I have a romantic notion of people agonizing over every phrase before sending their precious creations through the post, but I have to think the great letter writers did choose each word carefully. As I wrote recently, I have terrible email manners. There's something about email that lends itself to poor writing. Don't get me started on the foulness that is texting.

On a related note, Cassady's letter was made into a movie called The Last Time I Committed Suicide. It has a great line, where Keanu Reeves, tells Cassady, portrayed by Thomas Jane, to rescue two ales from the evil beermonger.

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