It proved at least one thing more. That poetry, painting, music, and fiction are products of the individual. That the great American novel will be written by some antisocial SOB who can’t stand espresso and never heard of Wilhelm Reich—the guy who sits up all night at a typewriter and brings to his particular vision the discipline of form and the love of an educated heart.

Nobody sees Saul Bellow at Rienzi’s or Jame Gould Cozzens at the Co-Existence Bagel Shop. Robert Frosts don’t run in rat-packs. Art is individual, the child of solitary individuals who wed their loneliness to their hope.

A generation may be disenchanted, but it takes a man alone to chronicle that disenchantment.

– from the essay, “Epitaph for the Beat Generation”, included in John Leonard’s anthology of essays, Reading For My Life [buy | borrow]
Book review here

Jack Kerouac – date and source unknown

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