on the road—50 years on


My zealously churlish response: At the acme of his celebrity, I thought Kerouac a purveyor of frenzied fakery, of pseudo-mystical junk; and I do not depart now from the intelligent judgment of my youth. Nowadays, “On the Road” can perhaps count as a document of a sentimental overwrought underdone subliterate zonked-out shamanistic onanistic fool-ridden era, when saccharine blockheads posed as transcendent Blake-heads, when stupor was mistaken for Buddha . . . . but what the hell, let it count for any old thing! — as long as you don’t call it literature.

— Cynthia Ozick

more from The LA Times here.