I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty… Jack Kerouac, On the Road


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In addition to any number of crackpot economic theories [Marxism springs to mind first and foremost], popularization of the flat-earth myth and the invention of the renaissance as a historical period we can also thank the nineteenth century for the popularization of celebrity biography. The ability to take some one who, for instance, plays Richard III with verve and wit and somehow elevate them to a status almost equal to that enjoyed by Richard III when he reigned is an exercise in fatuity. A character like Maynard G. Krebs may be amusing as a parody. In the flesh such a person is invariably a parasite unworthy of further attention. To culturally enshrine such a character in a celebrity biography soars past fatuity and approaches ridiculousness faster than Kerouac’s typewriter at full bore.

Neal Cassady : the fast life of a beat hero David Sandison and Graham Vickers London : Omnibus, c 2008 Hardcover. xi, 340 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

neal002

This in-depth biography of Neal Cassady takes a look at the man who achieved immortality as Dean Moriarty, the central character in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. A charismatic, funny, and superficially seemingly intelligent man, Cassady was also a compulsive womanizer who lived life on the edge. His conversational writing style inspired Kerouac, who lifted a number of passages verbatim and uncredited from Cassady’s letters for significant episodes in On the Road. Drawing on a wealth of new research and with full cooperation from central figures in his life — including Carolyn Cassady and Ken Kesey — this account captures Cassady’s unique blend of lunacy cloaked by pseudo-spirituality.

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