Kerouac’s Aesthetic

on-the-road2I could go on all day about my love for Kerouac–the first time I found his books but you get the idea. Anyway I’ve been reading his Belief and Technique for Modern Prose as well as his collected notebooks Penguin published last year and I am continually amazed at his obsessions. Hugo says that’s what we pick up first–we notice other writer’s obsessions and they perhaps give us insight to our own. I think Kerouac’s obsessions are for the writing itself–he is possessed with the idea of being a writer. In all of his notes there is never a hesitation to call himself a writer. His work ethic is indomitable.  

Other obsessions of course are with the country and with travel and with capturing and remembering–turning the everyday into folklore of the self–all in the daily practice of writing.

Of course spontaneous prose and the idea of not censoring one’s expression. I like the debate in Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch between the Ginsberg character and the Kerouac character. Ginsberg was a relentless reviser of work nd Kerouac wanted to sit and get it down–I know some writers like that. I find myself taking on both points of view–take it as it comes or form it up constantly.

Anyway I love his ideas on his own personal aesthetic:

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside your own house
  4. Be in love with your life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yrself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. You’re a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven  

Published by john paul jaramillo

John Paul Jaramillo was born and raised in southern Colorado. His stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Acentos Review, Palabra, A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and most recently in Duende. His collection The House of Order: Stories was named an International Latino Book Award Finalist and his novel in stories Little Mocos is forthcoming from Twelve Winters Press. In 2013 the editors of Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature listed Jaramillo as one of its Top 10 New Latino Authors to Watch and Read.

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