The road well travelled: 100 years of Jack Kerouac

1960s: Days of Rage

“Jack Kerouac – anti-establishment icon, revolutionary author of the American classic On the Road, pioneer of the Beat Generation and, perhaps most of all, enduring symbol of cool. If a dog-eared paperback of On the Road slung in your back pocket was once the ultimate avant-garde accessory, 100 years after his birth, a Kerouac namecheck has become something of a trope on dating apps. New analysis by OkCupid has shown that mentions of the Beat poets and On the Road in profiles (more often on those belonging to men) have increased more than threefold in the past five years. With their themes of travelling, male friendship and flight from the nine-to-five to explore a world of sex, drugs and art, it’s easy to see why men want to align themselves with Kerouac’s books. The anarchist ideals of On the Road characters Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise are ones that ‘alternative’…

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