Even today, Kerouac is still not being read with a clear vision. Perhaps some readers never took to or went back on the road — due to fear or family — and therefore can no longer revisit his work. Perhaps it’s hard to even look at his writing, because back through the book, readers are actually looking at themselves. And it’s easier to say, well, Kerouac’s naive, he lacks structure and plot, than to say I missed out on something. Maybe some readers have given up on the search for beauty and spirituality, or they’re not one of those people who “burn burn burn like fabulous yellow roman candles,” and that knowledge is painful. If writers and critics who dismiss Kerouac for his craft — often without reading his books — are honest with themselves, they will see that they still haven’t examined his work beyond the packaging.
- Joseph Lapin, Salon: Was Jack Keroauc Really A Hack?