On The Road

In a review of the seminal Kerouac book entitled On The Road, the poet Michael McClure wrote, “the world that [they] trembling stepped out into in that decade was a bitter, gray one.” Almost five decades later, the beat generation over and its famous faces part of the mythic American cultural tapestry, the influence of Ginsberg, Burroughs and Kaufman still exists and … it would seem … McClure’s description is as apt today as it was then.

Fact is that every generation has its own rhythms and its own peculiar flavor. Heading out on the road was one thing to Steinbeck who was born at the turn of the century and wrote The Grapes of Wrath in the thirties. It was another to Kerouac who was born twenty years later and wrote On The Road in the fifties and yet another when those of my generation raised thumbs in the air during the seventies and did our own version of “on the road”. And still – we have the restless soul who, by necessity or sense of adventure or a mixture of both, lives the nomadic life – endlessly trying to escape the bitter gray.

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