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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

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Visions of Gerard


Visions of Gerard Cover

ISBN13: 9780140144529
ISBN10: 0140144528
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"My best most serious sad and true book yet." —Jack Kerouac

"His life . . . ended when he was nine and the nuns of St. Louis de France Parochial School were at his bedside to take down his dying workds becase they'd heard his astonishing revelations of heaven delivered in catechism on no more encouragement than it was his turn to speak. . . ."

Unique among Jack Kerouac's novels, Visions of Gerard focuses on the scenes and sensations of childhood—the wisdom, anguish, intensity, innocence, evil, insight, suffering, delight, and shock—as they were revealed in the short tragic-happy life of his saintly brother, Gerard. Set in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, it is an unsettling, beautiful, and sad exploration of the meaning and precariousness of existence.

About the Author

Jack Kerouac(1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.

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jerry felty, July 9, 2011 (view all comments by jerry felty)
I recommend Visions of Gerard for those who love Kerouac and want to know more about his intimate childhood history. As is to be expected, it is autobiographical, as it covers his very first years. It tells the touching story of his older brother's brief and tragic life and death. This "memoir" is impressive for its display of Kerouac's great memory alone....a characteristic that has been documented and remarked upon over the years by those who knew him personally. The book is telling in it's description of Kerouac's religious formation and how Catholic traditions informed his spiritual search and foundational beliefs. His memories of Lowell, Mass. are also a fine depiction of what life was like in this New English French/Canadian community at the beginning of the last century. The book is unique because in it Kerouac allows himself to look back toward more innocent beginnings, when the drive to live life to the fullest, hippest possible way had not even begun to assume it's hold on his consciousness and become the major thrust in his overall body of writing. I have long respected that Jack was able to overcome traditonal literary expectations and turn himself loose to be the artist he was born to be. This book has always occupied a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
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Product Details

Kerouac, Jack
Penguin Books
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Beat generation
Beat generation -- Fiction.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.74x5.06x.43 in. .26 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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