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by Allen Ginsberg
For all of our tweedy jingoism, the United States seems rare among nations in not having an identifiable and obvious candidate for national epic.
My decade-long enamor with the poets and writers of the Beat Generation was about to pay off. As the only woman who adored Kerouac, I would be the vixen of the literary matchmaking board.
A large part of On The Road’s powerful and ongoing appeal undoubtedly stems from the lyricism of its language -- as opposed to its linearity, or even narrative coherence. Translating this to the screen could quite simply be impossible. Indeed, one suspects it is the reason that, up till now, so many screenwriters have failed in turning Kerouac’s text into visual form.
While evil is obviously universal, various forms of evil portrayed in The Uninnocent do seem to me to be distinctly American. An unstable idealism that sometimes erupts into irrevocable acts of violence or crime does reside in the hearts of many of these characters.
The army of Beat hagiographers operates under the illusion that dissecting the personal lives of writers is essential to – even preferable to – understanding their writing.