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Brother-SoulsJohn Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, and the Beat Generation$
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Ann Charters and Samuel Charters

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604735796

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604735796.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 20 January 2022

The Horn

The Horn

(p.279) Chapter 16 The Horn

Ann Charters

Samuel Charters

University Press of Mississippi

The Horn is John Clellon Holmes’s brilliant, troubling testament to jazz. Loosely based on the lives and careers of jazz musicians Holmes admired, the book employs the narrative structure of tragic drama, which is defined by the Aristotelian rules of unity of action. Although it drifts between a number of musicians’ apartments and Harlem bars, The Horn is essentially set within the same scene, as proposed by Aristotle. In June 1977, Holmes discussed his specific aims in the novel with the young academic Tim Hunt. A month later, he wrote to Richard K. Ardinger, who had become interested in the Beat Generation as a student and was compiling Holmes’s bibliography, to talk about the conception of the novel. Two of the characters in The Horn are Jack Kerouac and Holmes himself. At its release, the novel received mostly moderate reviews from the mainstream press, but was acclaimed by knowledgeable critics with a close connection with jazz, such as Ralph Gleason in San Francisco and Studs Terkel in Chicago.

Keywords:   jazz, The Horn, John Clellon Holmes, jazz musicians, Tim Hunt, Richard K. Ardinger, Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac, Ralph Gleason, Studs Terkel

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