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

Paul Morgan: No disrespect , but you are a tourist.

Ivan Mendis: Any disease when comes to a country government should give proper help and...

Charles McCool: Amazing life experience.

Bob: Hi Cheryl. would love to talk but no contanct info. chandubob@hotmail.co.uk

Cheryl: Well…f there’s anyone out there would like to talk about old...

Cheryl: I can see now..at the time.it was just fantastic…..now…ju st...

Cheryl: Please contact me…

Cheryl: Just want to talk to people who were there…not many people in my circle...

Jeanette Matlock: Well written post. Something to think about & shows what you can...

Jeanette Matlock: Well written post that certainly changed my perception. Definitely...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

The art of body language is an essential travel skill
How to choose and use packing cubes
On the road, disorientation is as important as discovery
You have now entered the Tourist Zone
Vagabonding Case Study: Tracey Mansted
Travel, its very motion, ought to suggest hope
Pro’s and Con’s of Traveling Solo
The negative impact of mass tourism
“The Tramps,” by Robert W. Service (1907)
Le Musee du Fumeur: Paris


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts