Saturday, September 11, 2010

Terrible Idea

This, methinks, is a horrible idea. The story isn't that great. It's more about the language.


The Ancient said...

Someone ought to write an account of just how Jack Kerouac became the patron saint of bad writers.

FLG said...

There's a quotation from Allen Ginsburg that always strikes me when thinking about the Beat writers:
"I have a new method of poetry. All you got to do is look over your notebooks... And think of anything that comes into your head, especially the miseries... Then arrange in lines of two, three or four words each, don't bother about sentences ..."

Basically, just throw shit on paper. Don't worry about the craft of writing. That's why Kerouac appeals to bad writers. Who cares about craft?

Although, the reason Kerouac, Ginsberg, etc could get away with it is because they were so talented. Had they paid attention to craft they'd've been better, but they were good enough that there uncrafted work was good enough.

The Ancient said...

I know people who thought the world of Allen Ginsberg, as a person and as a poet. (And as fond as I am of some of the, they all have something in common: A very poor basic education, and virtually no knowledge of literature or poetry before 1945.)

P.S. One friend has often remarked that contents of Ginsberg's notebooks were magical. (But then he's a bad writer, too.)

P.P.S. So I don't really agree with you about Kerouac. It's not just the absence of craft. Kerouac's sensibility was trite and silly by turns, and he had nothing of any real interest to say. Actors can get away with that -- Brando, for instance -- but not writers. (I have another friend -- a more successful writer -- who says that the only contemporary who dealt with Kerouac in a reasonable way was Gore Vidal.)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.