I read this on Slate today:
All my adult life, I’ve been served well by avoiding two categories of readers: people who like Jack Kerouac and people who think Humbert Humbert is the hero of Lolita. …
On the Road is babbling nonsense that mainly appeals to men under the illusion that it’s somehow daring to be disdainful of women… The female characters in On the Road are two-dimensional stereotypes… Kerouac-haters are correct in thinking he can’t handle characterization… Luckily for the rest of us, there are plenty of men we can admire for their disregard for women’s lives if we wish, and there’s no reason to slog through Kerouac’s prose to get the cheap thrill of vicarious misogyny.
As a female running a blog titled Fuck Yeah Beatniks, this, needless to say, threw me off a little.
I won’t deny that the female characters in many Beat works are unfortunately simplistic, but is this due to sexism, the times, or the fact that the Beat writers’ focus was simply not on women?
What do you guys think?