- Title Pages
- A Prologue
- Chapter 1 A Usable Past
- Chapter 2 The Magic of Words
- Chapter 3 Whatever World There Would Be
- Chapter 4 The Stale Bread of Dedication
- Chapter 5 A Weekend in July
- Chapter 6 A Kind of Beatness
- Chapter 7 Neal & Co.
- Chapter 8 This Particular Kind of Madness
- Chapter 9 Angelic Visions
- Chapter 10 In the Temple of the Gods
- Chapter 11 A Torrent of Words
- Chapter 12 The Liveitup Kid
- Chapter 13 Perfect Fools
- Chapter 14 The Rising Tide of Fame
- Chapter 15 What Am I Doing Here?
- Chapter 16 The Horn
- Chapter 17 Too-Late Words
- Chapter 18 A Sweet Attention
- Chapter 19 To the Edge of Eros
- Chapter 20 Gypsying
- Chapter 21 A Turn of the Circle
- Chapter 22 Gone in October
- Chapter 23 On a Porch in Boulder
- Chapter 24 Final Chorus
The Magic of Words
The Magic of Words
- (p.16) Chapter 2 The Magic of Words
- University Press of Mississippi
Like the rest of American society, the families of Jack Kerouac and John Clellon Holmes were deeply affected by the Depression. Holmes’s family left their home in Englewood, New Jersey in the summer of 1935 and moved to Plymouth, New Hampshire. Holmes’ most important memory of Plymouth, which he shared with Kerouac, was the flood of 1936, when the Pemagawassett River overflowed. When Holmes’s father lost his job in New Hampshire, the family returned to Englewood. Holmes’s life abruptly changed when the United States entered World War II on December 7, 1941, in response to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Holmes’s parents ended their marriage and his father found employment in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist. In the summer of 1942, at the age of sixteen, Holmes also “started leaving home.” “Leaving home” would later become a theme in the novels of both Holmes and Kerouac. As aspiring writers, their diaries were their first apprenticeship.
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