Summary & Reaction to a Scholarly Article

Eburne, Jonathan P. "Jack Kerouac and the Literary Imagination/Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form." Studies in the Novel 4th ser. 41.3 (2009): 384-87. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2010.

            This resource compares the opinions of Nancy M. Grace and Michael Hrebeniak, regarding Jack Kerouac’s writing style. However, all three of these writers compare Kerouac’s “mid-century” work to that of Whitman, Proust, Melville, and/or Joyce. Grace further states that this may not necessarily be a good thing, for according to Grace; this may mean that Kerouac’s writing style mimics, or “eludes” the work of the very authors that inspired him.
            Although, this article went completely against my initial thoughts of Kerouac and what his status was as a writer during the Cold War, it does affirm many of its points with evidence and because of this, I do agree with it. Originally, I believed Kerouac to be the face of the “Beat Generation”, but according to Jonathan P. Eburne, both Grace and Hrebeniak, “situate Kerouac within a broad field of experimental literature rather than viewing him simply as the public face of the Beat "generation" or as the voice of a literary movement.” She does, however, state that Kerouac was indeed a part of the movement; his role was just not as “vital” as the general consensus believes it to be. Grace made the accusation that Kerouac’s writing style is suspiciously similar to the writing styles of Wolfe, Miller, Nin, Proust, and Céline, which even if this statement is true, how would this really effect Kerouac’s chance in being deemed a “Great American Author?”
            However, I don’t fully agree with this statement, because it should pertain to mostly every author over the past few centuries. There are so many pieces of literature out there in the world, that if you are both a writer and reader, it would be difficult to not subconsciously mold your own way with words to those styles of writing. One of the few ways a writer could attempt to revolutionize American literature would be if he/she wrote in a dialect other than English, which is exactly what Kerouac originally intended to do. Kerouac attempted to “stand out” in the field of American literature by first writing “On the Road” in what little of the French Canadian Language, Joual, he remembered from his childhood. With a different dialect came a different understanding of the events that unfolded during his day-to-day life. Although, the novel was eventually continued, and re-written in English, the initial “output” of his thoughts pertained to that of a more “foreign” culture. Although, there aren’t millions of writers nowadays that write in the “Stream of Consciousness” to Jazz music, while on Caffeine and Benzedrine, I still believe Kerouac’s writing style was new, developed, fairly original because of the “Jazz tempo” it was written at.
             This article covers multiple similar, but different opinions on the subject of Jack Kerouac’s literary work. While asking myself the question, “Is Jack Kerouac a “Great American Author”, I can come up with a single opinion. Nevertheless, it is a variety of multiple opinions that will allow me to come up with the best consensus that reflects not just one, but many different standpoints. Originally, I was just going to research analyses that supported Kerouac, but this article has given me an entirely new approach to finding resources.