Litkicks Message Board Archive

address what i said

Posted to What Are You Reading?

I never said he wasn't innovative, unique, or even first rate. I'm just saying that an artist can't be considered great if he was only respected in his generation and possibly the next generation. It's not hard to ramble off hundreds of writers who were popular in their day and seen as innovative or unique. The hard thing is keeping that up with generations of future readers.
I enjoy much of Kerouac's writing, but you're right. I can't compare him to Twain. Twain is the first truly great American writer and his works have stood as masterpieces for the last hundred years. Kerouac is basically only a "cult favorite." In the future he may turn out to be more, but as of now, that's all he is.
I'm not trying to say Kerouac isn't a great writer, so time will not prove me wrong. I'm just trying to get you to see that your claim was outlandish. It would be like me saying that Phish is the greatest rock ever. They had an enormous following and were immensely popular for about 10 years. They were also very innovative and unique. Does this make them great, though?