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Fleeing the City: Authorial Self-Construction in Jack London's The Road, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Cormac McCarthy's The Road

Fleeing the City: Authorial Self-Construction in Jack London's The Road, Jack Kerouac's... Fleeing the City Authorial Self- Construction in Jack London’s Th e Road, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Cormac McCarthy’s Th e Road Jeanne Campbell Reesman, University of Texas at San Antonio Jack London, Jack Kerouac, and Cormac McCarthy each wrote of the adventure road, of freedom and risk in surviving obstacles and dangers, and of escape from the city not as simply physical moves across the landscape but as spiritual quests of a very specifi c kind. Th e authors and their protagonists seek to survive their far journeys on the road and to use the friendships and personal insights the road off ers to help them fi nd a secure place where at least a temporarily stable spiritual self can be created and nourished, an artistic self, specifi cally an author. In London’s Th e Road and Kerouac’s On the Road, the protagonists/authors undertake trips to become a writer. As Jonah Raskin remarks, “Like Kerouac, London took to the road with the explicit purpose of writing about it. He took a notebook with him, recorded his observations and wrote down ideas for characters and stories” (Raskin). London’s Th e Road recounts his brief hoboing in 1892 and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Naturalism University of Nebraska Press

Fleeing the City: Authorial Self-Construction in Jack London's The Road, Jack Kerouac's On the Road, and Cormac McCarthy's The Road

Studies in American Naturalism , Volume 14 (1) – Sep 19, 2019

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Studies in American Naturalism
ISSN
1944-6519

Abstract

Fleeing the City Authorial Self- Construction in Jack London’s Th e Road, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Cormac McCarthy’s Th e Road Jeanne Campbell Reesman, University of Texas at San Antonio Jack London, Jack Kerouac, and Cormac McCarthy each wrote of the adventure road, of freedom and risk in surviving obstacles and dangers, and of escape from the city not as simply physical moves across the landscape but as spiritual quests of a very specifi c kind. Th e authors and their protagonists seek to survive their far journeys on the road and to use the friendships and personal insights the road off ers to help them fi nd a secure place where at least a temporarily stable spiritual self can be created and nourished, an artistic self, specifi cally an author. In London’s Th e Road and Kerouac’s On the Road, the protagonists/authors undertake trips to become a writer. As Jonah Raskin remarks, “Like Kerouac, London took to the road with the explicit purpose of writing about it. He took a notebook with him, recorded his observations and wrote down ideas for characters and stories” (Raskin). London’s Th e Road recounts his brief hoboing in 1892 and

Journal

Studies in American NaturalismUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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