Adverse / Averse0Adverse means harmful or unfavorable.0Adverse reactions to this medication havebeen noted in 40% of patients.0Averse means reluctant or opposed to.0He was not averse, however, to takingchances for himself.
AGENDA0 New Teams 5-60 The Beats0 Big Sur0 Postmodernism0 Style0 Themes
New Groups: Three Minutes!1. You must change at least50% of your team aftereach project is completed.2. You may never be on ateam with the same personmore than twice.3. You may never have a newteam comprised of morethan 50% of any priorteam.
Discuss: Big SurPostmodernism, Themes, and StyleFive minutes!
The Beats0 The literary movement called the Beat Generation burstinto American consciousness with two books publishedin the late 1950s. The first, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl andOther Poems (1956), stirred both controversy and anobscenity trial for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who offeredcopies for sale in his San Francisco bookstore.0 The second book, Jack Kerouacs On the Road (1957) hada profound cultural effect when it was published. It wasthe Beat Generation’s manifesto.
Postmodern Aspects• Kerouac faced a postwar era caught between dwindling modernism and emergingpostmodernism. This was a time of transition and experimentation and Kerouacpersonifies that era.• One example of the confluence of the two periods shows in how he relies on his religiousbackground yet at the same time questions it by exploring other religions. Kerouac was adedicated Catholic, yet his open-mindedness to other religions demonstrates thatmodernism and post-modernism can be embraced simultaneously.• Other postmodern aspects of Big Sur• Stream of consciousness and thought, or as Kerouac himself liked to call it“spontaneous prose,” which forced him to include all of the details of hisexperience.• Explicit themes of sexual encounters• Alcoholism• Fragmentation• Isolation• Mental Illness
StyleGenreRoman à clef: literally translated: novel with a key: a novel in whichreal events and people figure under disguise.This is a fictional novel, but it is based on the real events of a six weekperiod in Kerouacs life.Yet, we must consider that Big Sur is a work of fiction. While theevents and people are real, Kerouac has used his imagination increating the complete work.SettingThe novel is called Big Sur. We can assume the setting is important.NarratorThe first person narrator creates an intimacy between narrator, story,and reader.It also forces us to question his reliability.
Themes0 Drugs and Alcohol0 Madness0 Mortality0 Isolation0 Spirituality
QHQ: Culture vs. Counterculture0 How is the American middle class portrayed in Big Sur?0 I suppose the family that drives past him when he tries tohitchhike represent America?0 Considering the situation of the tourist and the strugglingnarrator being allegorical of class division, what can theblisters represent?0 How can this emergence of the middle class be reconciledwith this emergence of the beatnik in the same postmodernworld?0 Is he talking about how America is very shallow and caresonly about appearances?0 Based on this text, does Jack portray the beat lifestyle as“better” or “worse” than the typical American lifestyle?
0 How does Jack Kerouac’s method of stream ofconsciousness writing compare to earlier writers whoattempted to capture the same internal processes indifferent ways?0 Is Kerouac’s iconic diction and syntax the best choice forthe success of this novel’s message?0 Does Kerouac care if people are able to extract a mainmessage from his work, or is he writing simply “for art’ssake”?0 Is Kerouac’s writing meant to be a tribute to the newmodern Beatnik culture or a rejection of normal writingstyle?0 Is there a dark tone focused in this story?
0 How does the history of the Bay Area relate to Kerouac’sperspective of America’s transformation?0 What is up with narrator always being alone and onlyhaving his pet cat, Tyke, as the sole source that he can justlet himself go and just play?0 Why doesn’t the narrator deal with the loss of his brother,instead of trying to replace him?0 What do the death’s in Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur” signify?0 Why does the narrator feel he’s going crazy? Seeing flyingsaucers… and sometimes even saying he might be goingmad. “…before I went mad I still had such preoccupations)”beginning of ch6
HOMEWORK0 Read Lesbian, gay, and queer criticism0 Post #310 Explore how you might apply this criticism to texts wehave read.0 QHQ
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