Editor’s note: The following information is courtesy of Wandering Aesthetics.
Wandering Aesthetics is proud to announce “Beat Generation” by Jack Kerouac as the next play in their monthly play reading series, “The Boiling Point.”
“Beat Generation” will be read on March 17, at 7 p.m. at The WOMB, located at 915 E. Market St.
The Boiling Point is a free event and open to the public. Anyone may come and read a part or simply listen and join the post-reading discussion.
Kerouac was an American writer best known as a creative engine for the Beat Generation throughout the 1950s. Considered a literary iconoclast, Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. He became an underground celebrity and, with other Beats, a forefather of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.
During the late 1940s, Kerouac and his friends took several cross-country road trips to Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Mexico City. These trips provided the inspiration for Kerouac’s greatest novel, “On the Road”– a barely fictionalized account packed with sex, drugs and jazz. Kerouac’s writing of “On the Road” in 1951 is the stuff of legend. He wrote the entire novel over one three-week bender of frenzied composition, on a single scroll of paper that was 120 feet long.
Kerouac also wrote poetry in his later years, composing mostly long-form free verse, as well as his own version of the Japanese haiku form. Despite maintaining a prolific pace of publishing and writing, Kerouac was never able to cope with the fame he achieved after “On the Road,” and his life devolved into a blur of drunkenness and drug addiction. He died from an abdominal hemorrhage on Oct. 21, 1969, at the age of 47, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Written in the throes of “On the Road”‘s commercial success in 1957, but lost for many decades, Kerouac’s “Beat Generation” follows the sweetly sozzled Buck, his pal Milo and their collection of fellow misfits. As ever in Kerouac’s work, the ill-fated search for enlightenment is central to the play. His characters are a ragtag assemblage of personalities based on recognizable Beat-era figures – Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and even Kerouac himself – who specialized in creative loafing. Also, like so much of his work, glimpses of humor, wordplay and emotional illumination turn up as welcome signposts amid the aimlessness.
From Wandering Aesthetics – About The Boiling Point
The Boiling Point is that wild moment where internal pressures surpass outer, triggering a transformation. “Alternative” plays serve as our fuel to ignite the minds of Akronites. By reading a diverse array of texts, we set ablaze different genres, aesthetics and cultures – especially those works beyond the scope of traditional American theatre. The friction between these new encounters and their resulting conversations will generate the spark of fresh ideas that will take Akron to The Boiling Point.