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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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This Particular Kind of Madness

This Particular Kind of Madness

(p.117) Chapter 8 This Particular Kind of Madness

Ann Charters

Samuel Charters

University Press of Mississippi

Disappointed with Jack Kerouac for joining Neal Cassady on a trip to New Orleans and San Francisco on January 19, 1949, John Clellon Holmes suggested that it was a way for Kerouac to avoid dealing with his own dilemmas. However, the weeks when Cassady was roaring around Manhattan had also given Holmes the opportunity to evade facing some of his own demons. In the months that followed, he had to return to the novel that gave him sleepless nights. Even when Kerouac returned to New York City a few weeks later, Holmes realized that the spring months ahead were more difficult than he had ever imagined, and was unsure if he could deal with the self-doubt that was engulfing him. It is not clear why Holmes was not more satisfied with the poetry he was writing, which was being accepted and published, and why he continued to agonize over the novel that was going so badly. Kerouac had been experiencing some of the same doubts and uncertainties over his own novel, The Town and the City.

Keywords:   novel, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, New York City, poetry

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