It is our great good fortune to have Pete Kerzel as the co-producer of Hitting the Books. Pete organizes the written portion of the blog, for which I am deeply grateful.
Earlier this summer, you met co-producer Olivia Witherite, introducing her favorite read, “The Book Thief.” Today, Pete joins us with his insight on a classic: “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac.
Kerouac’s book is more than a classic novel; it is a timeless work about a point in time, the subject matter of which rings true forever.
To the credit of New York Times reviewers in 1957, when the book was published, the review was on the money:
“But the fact is that ‘On the Road’ is the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat,’ and whose principal avatar he is.
“Just as, more than any other novel of the Twenties, ‘The Sun Also Rises’ came to be regarded as the testament of the ‘Lost Generation,’ so it seems certain that ‘On the Road’ will come to be known as that of the ‘Beat Generation.’”
That is exactly what has happened, and more.
Other generations have found within the work manifestations of their own search for life and words that express their internal and external revolutions.
Without further delay, Pete, tell us about “On the Road.”
“After 1957 ‘On The Road’ sold a trillion levis and a million espresso coffee machines, and also sent countless kids on the road. This was of course due in part to the media, the arch-opportunists. They know a story when they see one, and the Beat movement was a story, and a big one ... The Beat literary movement came at exactly the right time and said something that millions of people of all nationalities all over the world were waiting to hear. You can’t tell anybody anything he doesn’t know already. The alienation, the restlessness, the dissatisfaction were already there waiting when Kerouac pointed out the road.” ― William S. Burroughs
Gary Thorne is the play-by-play voice of the Orioles on MASN, and the 2019 season is his 13th with the club and 34th covering Major League Baseball. His blog will appear regularly throughout the season. The Orioles and Sarasota County, for the 8th consecutive year, have partnered on the Big League Reader Program, which rewarded kids who read three books in February with tickets to a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium in March.
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