Litkicks Message Board Archive

The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac

Posted to What Are You Reading?

Read some of Kerouac’s “The Subterraneans” today.
What I got most out of it was the freedom
and creativity in Kerouac’s style of writing.
I found it inspiring. His writing sounds like it's being written on speed, which makes it full of energy, and that energy is passed on to the reader. It's like feeling you're on speed without having to take anything. Kerouac is very good at neologisms: like
'BeFinneganing,' and “'Moansqueak' of the door” Also I was impressed how he took a two-month
affair that wasn’t particularly earth-shattering
and with a not particularly interesting
girl and turned it into a novel. It seemed to me he
was straining to make something not that interesting
be interesting. Reading him makes me think one should throw all the rule books on writing away. I also liked how he took all these people and made them sound interesting and loveable, because that's how he thought of them. This novel was full of life and energy, but I thought the weak story-line hurt it.