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Jack Kerouac ( born Jean-Louis Kérouac (though he called himself Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac); March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet of French-Canadian descent.
He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.
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In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since his death, Kerouac's literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, including The Town and the City, On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea Is My Brother, and Big Sur.
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Kerouac appeared to have done an about-face, becoming extraordinarily reactionary and staunchly anticommunist, vocalizing his intense hatred of the 1960s counterculture...; id. at p. 29 ("Kerouac realized where his basic allegiance lay and vehemently disassociated himself from hippies and revolutionaries and deemed them unpatriotic subversives."); id. at p. 30 ("Kerouac['s]...attempt to play down any perceived responsibility on his part for the hippie generation, whose dangerous activism he found repellent and "delinquent."); id. at p. 111 ("Kerouac saw the hippies as mindless, communistic, rude, unpatriotic and soulless."); Maher, Paul; Amram, David (2007), Kerouac: His Life and Work, Taylor Trade Publications, p. 469, ISBN 9781589793668,
In the current political climate, Kerouac wrote, he had nowhere to turn, as he liked neither the hippies...nor the upper-echelon...