A Conversation for Jack Kerouac


Post 1


I always thought that the term 'Beat', that Kerouac coined, was derived from the grander 'Beatific' meaning spiritually enlightened. Can anyone the pinpoint origins of the phrase more accurately?


Post 2

Researcher 179291

The impression I got was just a stretched use of the normal meaning of the word 'beat' - tired, worn out, etc., like he and his fellow beatists (but Kerouac in particular) were tired of traditional writing formats and wanted to try something more spontaneous and lyrical, which also connects with the influence of jazz on the writing. Also from them just being plain ol' worn out from all that travelling around. There's no proper definition, but some other peoples opinions of the derivation on the excellent 'literary kicks' website on the beat writers but based around Kerouac. I forget the actual address; just type 'literary kicks' into a search engine' if you're interested.


Post 3


I have checked out this web site before. I thought it was well constructed and well researched.
On a re-read of On the Road last week I came accross the line ( to paraphrase somewhat as I don't remember it verbatim ) " Dean was beat, the pure definition of beatific." I think this is maybe one of origins of the phrase.


Post 4


It is basically accepted that the term came from a conversation that Kerouac had with John Clellon. He said "this is the beat generation," but never explained what it meant.
see www.charm.net/~brooklyn/topics/beatetymology.html

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