Return to Home Page

August 28, 2007

Did Allen Ginsberg (and Jack Kerouac) inspire Fight Club?

kerougins2.jpg

fightclub2.jpg

Not long ago, while reading a collection of Jack Kerouac’s journals, entitled Windblown World, I came across a startling entry from April 17th, 1948, which sounds a lot like a page from Chuck Palahniuk’s book (and, later, David Fincher’s movie) Fight Club. From an informal gathering of friends in New York, Kerouac reports the following:

Ginsberg went mad and begged me to hit him — which spells the end as far as I’m concerned, since it’s hard enough to keep sane without visiting the asylum every week. He wanted to know ‘what else’ I had to do in the world that didn’t include him, and he asked me to beat him up. I never was so horrified, mortified, and disgusted, not smugly disgusted but just riven by the spectacle of his mad meaningless eyes staring at me in a mockery of human sensibility. He claimed that I was turning away from the truth when I started to leave.

Unlike Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden converting Edward Norton’s character to recreational-therapeutic violence in Fight Club, Ginsberg never does convince Kerouac of the existential merits of hitting him — and in fact Kerouac writes off such behavior as nonsense. “I told him that I did have an unconscious desire to hit him,” Kerouac writes, but he would be glad later on that I did not. It seems to me that I did the most truthful thing there… [T]hese Ginsbergs, just coming of demonic age, assume that no one else has seen their visions of cataclysmic emotion, 90% false and 10% childish, and try to foist them on others.”

I’d have to say I agree with Kerouac. And though I enjoyed the gleeful energy of Fight Club, whenever I watch/read it, I can’t help but think the repressed male characters would be better served by a year or two out on the vagabonding road than stealing off to basement rooms to beat the crap out of each other.

Posted by | Comments (0) 
Category: General

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Carrie: Oh yes definitely agree that there are some charming things that really do make...

Rene: Nice blog! Even I have been planning for a World tour, and my wife and I...

Raymond: Thanks Jess! :)

Best cheap protein powder: If you desire to increase your know-how just keep visiting...

jcp thousand oaks hair salon: At Supercuts, our designers are a few of the finest been...

Selma: Good information. Lucky me I ran across your blog by accident (stumbleupon)....

Gerald: If such is your thought, then the latest news of the US ending the 50 year...

Andrea Kirkby: Agreed that the fogginess can make winter Europe tricky to visit. I find...

Roger: I spent six winters in London in the 1980s and early 90s, and I know what you...

Roger: The more we want the world to be accessible by commercial airplanes, global...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

What adults can learn when traveling with their parents
Vagabonding Case Study: Kristin Addis
Korea’s no-man’s land
Pros and Cons of Off-Peak Europe Travel
Vagabonding Case Study: Jennifer Doré Dallas
“Authenticity” is often a pointless fetish for travelers
Traditional Christmas in Europe
Being vegetarian on the road
Teen travel- more than being “thankful for what you have”
Vagabonding Field Report: Sharing a Simple Meal with a Humble Family


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts