From the Notebooks
Rule of Culture: For every material action, there is a spiritual reaction. It's a testament to the sacramental nature of existence: body and soul, flesh and spirit, intertwined. Lots of examples. Most notably for today is St. Francis and St. Dominic in the 12th century: As Europe left the Dark Ages, societal wealth started to increase dramatically. Money, greed, ambition were the order of the day. Francis and Dominic offered a counterpoise.
Your soul reacts to the hangover as harshly as your head. So does society because society, as Plato noted, is merely man writ large.
In the 1940s, a group of young man started looking at things differently.
Challenging whether the American Dream is the proper dream.
Beat Generation. Iconoclasts: destruction of cultural/societal icons. Columbia University, Harlem.
Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs. Half literary, half bum.
Jack Kerouac was the godfather of the Beats. Tacit, but understood by everyone. He was a bit older than the others (except Burroughs), but it was On the Road (1957) that did it. Immediate sensation; best seller. Still normally ranked in the Top 100 most important American works of literature.
Influenced everyone in the 1960s. Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Jim Morrison.
It was the Bible, Constitution, and Declaration of Independence of the 1960s.
“I love St. Francis of Assisi as well as anybody in the world.” Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels