This is an excerpt from my book “Vagabonds: Sometimes Getting Lost is the Point” . It’s available as an ebook for kindle or ebook readers. Over the next several months we will be exploring some of these amazing vagabond characters from the past (and present).
On the road or on the seas, a vagabond must travel. It doesn’t matter if you have money or not, you simply have to see the world. Jack Kerouac and his friends were extraordinary vagabonds.
Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet born in Massachusetts in 1922. He is a literary iconoclast and a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac was very much influenced by Neal Cassidy, they met in New York and soon became friends. Some people even say that they even fell in love with each other.
Very soon they both began the series of cross-county adventures which was mentioned on Jack Kerouac’s book “On The Road”. They roamed all over USA like vagabonds. Jack Kerouac started writing about their travel experiences as and when they were taking place, but somehow he was not able to find a style suitable to the content, and he put the project away in that frustration. After a series of letters from Cassidy to Kerouac , he began the project again and the letters gave him an idea to write a book “On The Road” and it was a success. The book became a sensation by catching the voice of Cassidy. On The Road inspired the generation to travel across America in search of freedom and adventure.
More about the beats and Jack Kerouac:
Jack Kerouac: Road Novels 1957-1960: On the Road / The Dharma Bums / The Subterraneans / Tristessa / Lonesome Traveler / Journal Selections
On the Road: The Original Scroll
The Dharma Bums
Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diana DiPrima
Beatniks: A Guide to an American Subculture
Personally, The Dharma Bums is my favorite of his books, though On the Road is much more famous.
Cassidy married many women and he became the father for many children, his life has been explained in On the Road by Kerouac. In his final years he settled down with Carolyn Cassidy in San Jose. Whereas Kerouac married Joan Haverty, but she left him while she was pregnant. Next several years Jack Kerouac spent his life traveling and writing. He took long trips all over US and Mexico and he fell into drug and alcohol use due to depression. He died at the age of 47 due to internal hemorrhage because of heavy drinking. Kerouac’s life was a good inspiration for world travelers and a good lesson for heavy drinkers!!