- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954 Hardcover – 7 Oct 2004
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A poignant selection. ("Time") Should help rescue Kerouac from the cultists and secure his admission to the mainstream hall of fame. ("The New York Times Book Review")
"The quintessential hipster turns out to a be a guy whose hallmarks are tenderness, bewilderment, and yearning." --Time
About the Author
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. He is the author of the Beat classic On the Road and his other works include The Dharma Bums and Big Sur.
Douglas Brinkley is professor of history and director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans. He is the award-winning author of twelve books, including, most recently, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The parts that have been selected for inclusion are apparently aimed at demonstrating the development of Kerouac's first two major works, The Town & the City, and On the Road. Strange, then, that nothing from Kerouac's 1948-49 journal of work on the latter book is included, although some of it did appear as a taster in the extracts Brinkley selected for publication in The Atlantic Monthly in 1998. That must surely be one of the most relevant journals for those interested in the development of On the Road and its omission here is a mystery. (Note: Although not in the hardback edition, Kerouac's On the Road journal has been added as a "postscript" to the paperback edition of this book.) Other journal extracts published in Atlantic, and also in the New Yorker in 1998, are missing from the published book.
In his introduction, it seems to me that Brinkley places far too much emphasis on demolishing the "myth" that On the Road was frantically written in three weeks in April 1951, claiming that Kerouac had begun it much earlier. This may be news to Brinkley, but I'm sure that most Kerouac readers are already aware of that fact. They will have known it since Tim Hunt pointed out that Kerouac began working on the book in 1948, attempting at least five different versions over the next four years. Hunt published this information, with extracts from the earlier attempts, in his PhD thesis in 1975, and in his book, Kerouac's Crooked Road, in 1981.
There's no doubt that Kerouac DID write the version that eventually became the published On the Road in a three-week burst on a scroll of paper in April 1951. However, examination of the scroll reveals that it differs somewhat from the published version, with the insertion of material from his journals being added LATER, at a more leisurely pace, when Kerouac retyped it onto separate pages.
What we have in this volume makes fascinating reading, of course, and offers a little more insight into Kerouac's mind, and his working practices. Brinkley admits to editing the journals heavily in places, and also to mixing together parts from different journals, with no clear indication of the individual sources. The result of this can only be confusion.
This book has been six years in the making. I imagine that all Kerouac scholars and enthusiasts who have been waiting patiently for its appearance will need a copy, and will find the contents valuable. However, I do believe that an important opportunity has been missed to make this the truly outstanding work it could have been.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Kerouac's work: novels, poetry, letters, etc. have long been
available...that suddenly a brand new book appears...and it's
beyond great. It's up there with anything he ever wrote.
If you love Kerouac, make getting this book #1 on your list.
If I may offer one brief quote (on page 12) on the subject
of maturity: "...the flashing exhilirated maddening discoveries
and truths of youth, the ones that turn young men into visionary
demons and make them unhappy and happier than ever all at once--
the truths later dropped with the condescension of "maturity"--
these truths come back in true maturity, maturity being nothing
less than disciplined earnestness--"
The book is LOADED with cool stuff like that.
Even though I'm not a Christian, all Kerouac's writing about
Jesus in these journals don't bother me, because he's writing from an ENLIGHTENED perspective. We are truly lucky that Jack Kerouac existed on Earth; and all those lunkhead critics who
dumped their ignorant bad reviews on him all those years ago
have been proven to be morons.