Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac; March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet.
He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation.
Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose, similarly to the automatic writings of the Surrealists. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, Buddhism, drugs, poverty and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained anatagonistic toward some of its politically radical movements.
In 1969, aged 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long term alcohol abuse. Since his death, Kerouac’s literary prestige has grown and several previously unseen works have been published.
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