Saturday, May 10

Kerouac #1

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After too many years I finally bought a copy of Jack Kerouac's classic little book, "On The Road". The novel was the first voice of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and 60s. It's described as pretty much of a free stream of thought which he pounded out in a few days on a typewriter fed from one large reel of paper. Wanderlust drove this guy. So he hopped trains, hitched rides, and hiked around America. Mostly it's a series of visceral snap shots each a metaphor for that mid-century moment in time. It's a useful book for photographers but... unlike the child-like adoration heaped on the thing by reviewers and teachers... I found much of it slow dealing with largely vapid people bored with success all about them. People driven to poke holes into reality to find - not something better - just different.

These are not people with ambition, but rather people with restless leg syndrome. Still, Kerouac's ability to toss off wonder-filled lines like the title of this image is exactly the fuel which the photographic artist thrives upon. These thoughts haunt us, and make me want to somehow express them visually... Here's one of my expressions from the tracks that neatly divide the City of Fort Lauderdale Florida. Somewhere up there in that unseen distance are Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, Philly, and New York City. Somewhere, way... way.. way... far away.

It wasn't a destination that Kerouac sought... rather he was after the process of getting there. And that's the profundity of his drive I suppose... after all isn't life about... getting there? He was driven by the wonder of the trip not the destination. BTW, he died quite young.

Here's the virgin picture from my FlashCard.


Stacey Olson said...

Wonderful job.. sounds like an interesting story.. You can take an ordinary image and turn it into a real work of art. great job..

April said...

I cannot even begin to imagine how you went from the original capture to create the richness of sensation and story expressed in this image.

It's one of my favorites in your work.

I only wish modern skyscrapers weren't part of the scene. Nonetheless, it makes me nostalgic for train travel and consider buying a ticket again...

Andreas said...

Goodness, that's brilliant. You never guess what it reminds me of? Rome! The station Termini. Don't ask me why. There is a Pizzeria called "Formula 1" near Termini where I've spent many evenings, and to get there, I had to cross the tracks. Well, actually it was through a tunnel below, but that does not matter.

Do you know why this image is so successful? It's because you took a photograph and turned it into an archetype. Brilliant.

Ashley said...

Interesting story, Ted. And your photos are always so captivating. Amazing.
I just posted an article based on your last comment, sounds and smells of Vietnam. You might find it interesting.

Debra Trean said...

It is all about the journey!