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The Liveitup Kid

The Liveitup Kid

(p.196) Chapter 12 The Liveitup Kid
Ann ChartersSamuel Charters
University Press of Mississippi

After feeling optimistic about the first draft of his novel Go, John Clellon Holmes found himself busy once again in the sea of rewriting in the spring of 1951. However, he momentarily lost the focus he needed to finish it and became increasingly unsure about how to begin. After reading Jack Kerouac’s scroll manuscript of On the Road, Holmes was at a loss on what to do next. With his manuscript at a standstill, he wrote several articles, two of which were published in the American Mercury. Kerouac was experiencing many of the same frustrations that Holmes was trying to deal with. He had to endure long, exhausting bouts of re-typing On the Road, and began to spend hours on what he considered a fresh start on his road book using a new way of writing prose that he called “sketching.” After finally completing the revision of Go, Holmes started a different series of journal entries, including one that was presented as an idea he had for the next novel he was planning to write.

Keywords:   novel, Go, John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, On the Road, American Mercury, prose, sketching, rewriting

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