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IS AN ENHANCED E-BOOK BIOGRAPHY OF JACK KEROUAC – SOMETIMES MADNESS IS GENIUS – JUST WAITING TO BE WRITTEN?
If there ever was an enhanced e-book biography waiting to be written, it is a biography of Jack Kerouac. In our post, E-BOOKS: WHAT CAN AN ENHANCED E-BOOK, “E +,” DO FOR JACK KEROUAC’S ON THE ROAD? we profiled the excellent enhanced e-book of Kerouac’s On the Road, published by Penguin Books, “The book includes valuable features that show what can be done with the enhanced e-book novel, and is an excellent example of the use of New Media digital technology to enhance the value of the e-book, and the reader’s experience.”
First a word about enhanced e-books, or “e-book+”. In short, it is an e-book that provides a reader experience that cannot be gotten from a print book, nor from the static e-book. In a prior post we wrote about the enhanced e-book, “e +,” as a new genre which requires the incorporation of many disciplines and technologies. In another prior post, we wrote on the subject of biography as an enhances e-book, and used Van Gogh and Pollock as possible examples. ENHANCED E- BOOK, E+, BIOGRAPHY – VAN GOGH & POLLOCK,
There is a wealth of material available that could be incorporated into an enhanced e-book biography of Kerouac.
KEROUAC LIVE – VIDEOS
Among the many videos of Kerouac available on You Tube is this one of Kerouac reading from On the Road on the Steve Allen show in 1959.
Many of the below Kerouac links are provided by Dave Moore of England, who is massively knowledgeable about Jack. On the Facebook Group called the Jack Kerouac Group, he posted a comprehensive list of web links to video and audio packages featuring Kerouac. With his permission, we are sharing the research here. Thanks, Dave. The list follows:
Cruising with Jack Kerouac – video compilation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJXOJX_Bg_I
Kerouac, Ginsberg, Lucien Carr on streets of New York City, Summer 1959http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NPdeJ_X0YU
Kerouac interview with Fernand Seguin, Montreal, March 1967. Complete (23 mins)http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/litterature/clips/126/
Kerouac interview with Seguin – 5 min extract with English subtitleshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r2aOSoRsoE
Kerouac shooting pool – Lowell – 1967 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQoDA62NVG0
Kerouac interview by Fernanda Pivano, Italy, 1966 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlqiyGIAS24
Kerouac demonstrates use of railroad lamphttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd0mga_retrobites-jack-kerouac-clowns_lifestyle
Kerouac on the Beats http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcoe1p_retrobites-jack-kerouac-beat-it-195_people
Precursors of the Hippies – includes interviews with Kerouac & Ferlinghetti http://archives.radio-canada.ca/societe/jeunesse/clips/2865/
Pull My Daisy – Robert Frank’s movie of Jack’s play, narrated by Kerouachttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_G04mgGcV4
ON THE ROAD, MAPS
An enhanced e-book on Kerouac would do well to have the author’s permission to include interactive maps of On the Road. Here are some examples. This from a post by Colin Marshall*** on Jan. 21, 2014 in Open Culture “Jack Kerouac’s Hand-Drawn Map of the Hitchhiking Trip Narrated in On the Road.”
Colin Marshall writes,
Surely most ardent readers of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road have tried to map Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty’s American journey. Above, partially alleviating your own need to take the pains of sketching out that great Beat journey yourself, we have a map drawn by the author himself. Pulled from Kerouac’s diary, it traces the route of a hitchhiking trip of July through October 1948, which no doubt fueled the still-potent literary impact of his best-known book, which would see publication almost a decade later in 1947. Each stop has a label, from the iconic American metropolises of New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. to the less-known but no less evocative smaller towns like Des Moines, North Platte, Laramie, and Selma.
He also refers us to a two other interactive maps by Michael J. Hess, and “Writer Dennis Mansker, on his own site, has created four separate interactive maps, each covering one of the novel’s parts. ” Of Hesse’s map, Marshall says,
Michael J. Hess’ map of Paradise and Moriarty’s route across the country. It offers passages straight from Kerouac’s text about all the places they stopped briefly, stayed a while, or only mentioned, like Salt Lake City, “a city of sprinklers” at dawn; Flagstaff, whose “every bump, rise, and stretch mystified my longing”; Omaha, home to “the first cowboy I saw”; and the Indianapolis Paradise enters on a bus which has just “roared through Indiana cornfields.”
For instance, Hess links Kerouacs’s stop in Des Moines with this quote from the book,
13. Des Moines, Iowa
“Now I wanted to sleep a whole day. So I went to the Y to get a room; they didn’t have any, and by instinct I wandered down to the railroad tracks – and there’re a lot of them in Des Moines – and wound up in a gloomy old Plains inn of a hotel by the locomotive roundhouse, and spent a long day sleeping on a big clean hard white bed with dirty remarks carved in the wall beside my pillow and the beat yellow windowshades pulled over the smoky scene of the railyards.”
If there ever will be an enhanced e-book about Jack Kerouac, The Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for Public Humanities at UMass Lowell is surely the one to produce it.
*The title of this post was suggested by the title of a book on Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald titled,Sometimes Madness is Wisdom, by Kendall Taylor, (Ballantine Books, 2001. For a view of Jack Kerouac on the William F. Buckley, Jr. show, see this You Tube video “Kerouac on the William Buckley Show, with Ed Sanders & others, September 1968.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaBnIzY3R00