Jack Kerouac and Jazz
In her book about New York, Magdalena Rittenhouse wrote: “some would say that jazz music was the soundtrack of abstract expressionism. But, in fact, everyone was everyone else's soundtrack.” After World War II, Greenwich Village was full of jazz musicians, Abstract Expressionists, Beats, hipsters, left-wing intellectuals, directors, junkies, drunks and hobos, who all inspired each other and created the cultural mixture that erupted in 60s. One of the elements of this world was Jack Kerouac, the most popular representative of the Beat Generation, the literary movement which existed in United States of America at this time. He fell in love with jazz after his first concert in one of New York’s club and this affair continued for his whole life. The rhythm of bebop, a new style of jazz inspired the rhythm of the new literary style of spontaneous prose, is one in which you can hear jazz phrases created with no prior preparation or reflection, which parallels the stream of consciousnessliterary method. In Kerouac's works you can hear jazz, which he also describes his impressions of. The similarities between Kerouac’s prose and jazz music were apparent when he read his text with accompaniment. Of course, there are many pieces of jazz inspired by Kerouac and his literature, too. The aim of the paper is to present connections between Jack Kerouac and jazz world. I will search how strong this particular correspondence between jazz and literature was.
Keywords - Jack Kerouac, Beat Generation, Bebop, Spontaneous Bop Prosody, Jazz