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On the Road to Lost Fathers: Jack Kerouac in a Lacanian Perspective

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Tomasz Sawczuk

The book is the first monograph which examines the correspondences between the oeuvre of Jack Kerouac and the thought of Jacques Lacan, the two apparently incompatible worlds which prove to be complementary when taking a closer look. The study demonstrates a number of points. Firstly, with Jacques Lacan as a silent partner, it helps to better understand why psychoanalysis won Kerouac’s enmity in the mid-1950s. It also delves into Lacan’s reflections on spontaneous free-association to prove their convergence with Beats’ literary tactics. In its final part, by employing Lacanian theory, the book offers an extensive insight into Kerouac’s oeuvre to excavate the problematic status of the father figure, a crucial matter not yet given a rigorous critical attention.

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Acknowledgments

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This book would not have happened were it not for a number of people whose knowledge, kindness, patience, and support were of immense value and helped me to bring the project to a successful close. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Zbigniew Maszewski, whose continuous guidance and a careful critical eye were kindly shared with me all along the process of writing. I remain grateful to Professor Marek Paryż and Professor Jacek Gutorow for their valuable suggestions and insightful reviews of my doctoral thesis, which became the basis for this book. I owe many thanks to people who, for many years now, have been to me true mentors in the field of Beat studies: Professor A. Robert Lee, who has been always there to lend me a hand with his expert knowledge and Andrzej Pietrasz, with whom countless hours have been spent discussing the Beats. The book would not be possible without the scholarship received from the Clifford and Mary Corbridge Trust of Robinson College in the University of Cambridge. It truly boosted my research efforts and allowed me to consult my ideas with Dr. Michael Hrebeniak, whom I would also like to thank. Finally, I wish to thank my family: my wife Monika, my parents, my mother-in-law and my brother. I owe so much to their love, encouragement and ongoing support.

This publication has received financial support from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under subsidy granted...

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