“Kerouac seems to thrive on such an ambivalence, he accepts it, forgives it for its treachery, as it has been perhaps the most constant and dominant force in his life up until that point.”
We have in the previous chapters established Kerouac’s admiration of the impossible, his fascination with the West as an ideal and legend, got a sense of his artistic rebellion in Spontaneous Prose, and his alienation from the America portrayed and promised by the Industrial Revolution. These conclusions have been drawn by studying his life and his surroundings. We’ve looked at his childhood influences, but what of those as an adult?
“Kerouac also told Allan Ginsberg about the time when he was being bathed by his mother when he was 12 – that fact in itself gives credence to Johnson’s argument. Kerouac recounts to Ginsberg how he got an erection and how Gabrielle became so outraged and furious that the incident embellished itself on Kerouac’s mind as a recurring dream Kerouac would have throughout his life.”