In the beginning Jack Kerouac lived a wild and exciting life outside the realm of
everyday "normal" American life. Though On the Road and The Dharma Bums were
Kerouac's only commercial sucesses, he was a man who changed American literature and
pop-culture. Kerouac virtually created a life-style devoted to life, art, literature, music,
and poetry. When his movement grew out of his control, he came to despise it, and died
lonely on the other side of what he once loved and cherished above all else. But, on the
way he created a style of writing which combined elements of all the great writers, with
speed, common language, real people, and the reality of his life.
In a public junior high school he began to read feverishly. In English classes he
flourished, but socially he did not. Impressed deeply by Mark Twain and Jack London,
Kerouac created his own imaginary world, which he recorded in hand-written
"newspapers." These led to h...