It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

My Literary American Heroes.

page: 1

log in


posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 05:53 AM
I live in the UK. I have a great respect for world literature. I do tend to admire classical literature for its quality, timelessness, depth and ability to capture the times the author was living in.

The U.S has an impressive literary history. Still a young country, the U.S really began a revolution in English literature. I don't know how many people know it, but T.S Eliot was born in America. He established himself in the classical literary culture of Britain and Europe. He ranks alongside Shelley, Wordsworth, Coleridge and all the other classic poets. I would argue that he is perhaps the last of the great poets in the English language and I see his work as embodying the end of our classical age. I do not think Britain will produce the likes of such again, but that is another debate.

Thanks to education the world of literature has become so diverse. The U.S writers were the beginning of this and heralded a new age of literature. I think Jack Kerouac is very underestimated as a writer and his influence on literature is equally as underestimated. I have gained so much feeling for this time in U.S history from reading him and I believe he really had his thumb on the very pulse of this most creative and important period of post WW2 America.Toffee nosed critics might accuse him of being immature in subject matter and the lifestyles he was describing, but I would argue Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Shelley were equally so. His prose style is incredibly unique and revolutionary. Nobody had ever written like that before. I think his influence on literature generally has been huge and immeasurable. His encouragement of experimentation has made literature blossom and diversify. Obviously I could write a whole PHD about this writer, but I am just trying to communicate a sense of his importance in literature. If there is still any point in using the word classic to describe modern literature then Jack Kerouac is an American classic.

The other literary figure I would like to mention here is Woody Guthrie. Now Woody was a lot more than a musician. His lyrics read like poetry. Again, here was a man with his thumb on the pulse of U.S culture. Like Kerouac he had travelled the length and breadth of the U.S and knew all the country so intimately. His songs about the Dust Bowl, racism, refugees and oppression are so intricately crafted. He can tell you as much about thirties U.S as Charles Dickens can tell you about Victorian Britain.

As an outsider looking in at U.S culture these two shine brightest of all for the quality of their narratives and the intensity of their description of the time they lived through. Be very proud of these your countrymen.

edit on 25-12-2014 by lonesomerimbaud because: spelling.

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:14 AM
a reply to: lonesomerimbaud

The other literary figure I would like to mention here is Woody Guthrie. Now Woody was a lot more than a musician. His lyrics read like poetry. Again, here was a man with his thumb on the pulse of U.S culture.

Regards that musical vein, adding honorable mention for Bob Dylan.


posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 06:31 AM
a reply to: intrptr

Yep! Dylan certainly has continued the legacy. Kerouac and Guthrie are big influences on his work.

The Beat poets, William Burroughs are all part of this fascinating era. I hope we do not lose sight of the importance of creativity and artists. Traditionally, it has been a means by which we gain insight into our cultures. It makes for coherence and identity.

There is still a place for the true visionary I am sure. Kerouac and Guthrie took their art to such extremes that they both died quite young having worn themselves out so. Dedication or what.

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 11:30 AM
a reply to: lonesomerimbaud

I've been spending a lot of time in my local library lately and needed suggestions on some new reading, many thanks op.

Although not classical may I recommend F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series of novel's. Jack lives off the grid and possesses the skills to solve problems for good people who can't go to the authorities such as blackmail.
And there's a supernatural twist where Jack is a reluctant warrior stuck in a war between two cosmic forces.

posted on Dec, 25 2014 @ 04:00 PM
In my opinion Kerouac borrowed heavily, stylistically from James Joyce although a bit jazzier. Not that that's a bad thing.

Hunter S Thompson, though a bit later, captured counter culture America with his writings.

posted on Dec, 26 2014 @ 02:28 AM
Lets not forget Carson McCullers, James Baldwin and the stuffy standards... Faulkner (if in the mood), Hemingway, Fitzgerald and that old master, who still reads fresh, Twain.

Oh yeah... and there's Poe... I'm just glad there are books and folks that write them well.

(But most of my personal favs aren't American... Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco and Hiruki Murakami... all excellent and tend to write about weirdness... .in the spirit of ats)

edit on 12/26/2014 by Baddogma because: (no reason given)

edit on 12/26/2014 by Baddogma because: late, tired and incomprehensible

posted on Jan, 30 2015 @ 04:15 AM
i have a big literature classical novels must be read and want to add a lots free books for english literature:


log in