Jack Kerouac

Tracing the Theme of Epiphany (First Edition)
Evert Villarreal
©2019, 112 pages

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Jack Kerouac

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Summary
    Jack Kerouac: Tracing the Theme of Epiphany invites readers to survey and analyze Jack Kerouac’s works with particular focus on his constant exploration to discover what it means to live a meaningful life. The text helps readers understand how Kerouac contributed to and influenced American literature, becoming one of the most famous writers of the 20th century.

    Divided into eight chapters, the book begins with a chapter that examines the historical, cultural, and literary context that gave rise to the Beat Generation, then progresses chronologically through Jack Kerouac’s life from his birth in 1922 to his death in 1969. Dedicated chapters demonstrate how major life events and social and cultural influences—including the deaths of his brother and his father, the Great Depression, World War II, jazz music, his time at Columbia University, the rise of the Beat Generation, and more—significantly shaped his worldview and subsequently, his unique writing style. Throughout, the text demonstrates how Jack Kerouac always sought moments of clarity and epiphany, trying to make sense of the world around him.

    Jack Kerouac: Tracing the Theme of Epiphany is an ideal supplementary text for both undergraduate and graduate courses in literature and creative writing.

    Dr. Evert Villarreal is the author of Carl Sandburg’s America: A Study of His Works, His Politics, and His New Imagination (2014). He holds a Ph.D. in 19th and 20th century American literature and American poetry from Texas A&M University. He also holds an M.A. and a B.A. in English (with highest distinction in honors studies) from The University of Texas-Pan American. He is a lecturer at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, cultural studies, American literature, American poetry, and world literature. Dr. Villarreal has done extensive research on the life and work of the notable American poet Carl Sandburg and the influential novelist Jack Kerouac. He has appeared on an episode of PBS’s American Masters series titled The Day Carl Sandburg Died.
    Other Cognella titles by Evert Villarreal:

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