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Thursday, April 14, 2016

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Published in 1957, Jack Kerouac’s experimental novel On the Road became a surprise best seller. The mad adventures of Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise offered white mid-century middle class readers the release of freedom and sex found, as Kerouac imagined, in the black, Latino, poor, and bohemian fringes of American society. What is the “madness” that permeates the novel? How do Dean and Sal relate to the outsiders they encounter? What role do African Americans play in the novel and in Kerouac’s imagination? How does On the Road relate to the time in which it was written and to the Beats?

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