Saturday, February 19, 2011
Jack Kerouac as a Prophet in On the Road: Arabs Coming to New York to Blow it up.
Hi folks -- my students are always teaching me something new, and that is clearly the case with this bunch at the University of San Diego this term. On Thursday a written review of On the Road was due in class and we had a discussion about that assignment. What surprised me was that a number of students had picked out of the book a sentence form page 117 of the Penguin edition:"Dean had a sweater wrapped around his ears to keep warm. He said we were a band of Arabs coming in to blow up New York." (p.117).
How in God's name did Kerouac have the foresight to use this kind of language and idea within the context of the early 1950s? Was it because of terrorism surrounding the founding of Israel? Any comments here would be appreciated!
Thanks to USD student Jennifer Chase for pointing this out in class and then following through by finding the passage.