Jack Kerouac's subject was himself and his method was to write as spontaneously as possible by threading a hefty roll of teletype paper into his typewriter and setting down his story on one continuous sheet. What resulted he would later transcribe for forwarding to his publisher, but never revise, in principle, for he regarded revision as a form of lying.
Truman Capote called Mr. Kerouac's method of composition typing, not writing. But Allen Ginsberg, who regarded his friend as the greatest American poet of his time, declared that Mr. Kerouac had created "a spontaneous bop prosody."
Mr. Ginsberg appears in Kerouac novels under a variety of names -- Carlo Marx, Irwin Garden, Adam Moorad and Alvah Goldbook -- but is always immediately recognizable. This is true of all Mr. Kerouac's close friends, for there was little fiction in his novels.
As he painstakingly informed his readers in his long series of autobiographical works -- which he intended to be read, ultimately, in sequence as one novel -- Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Mass., in 1922, the son of a French-Canadian printer.