How to find out if your literary fiction has an existentialist edge
The author of a bestselling novel says the world could be at the brink of “existentialist catastrophe” and says he has no time for traditional forms of literature.
Jack Kerouac’s “The Old Man and the Sea” is about a writer’s encounter with the existentialist philosopher Herman Daly.
Kerouac died in 1967, but his legacy lives on in his writings and works of art.
His literary works have also influenced many writers today.
One of Kerouacs favourite characters is a man who can talk to people in their dreams and has an uncanny ability to do it without even being conscious.
In the book, he also speaks of the possibility of the end of the world.
“It is possible,” Kerouacan writes in the introduction to his book.
“I believe that the end may be in sight.
I am aware of no other way to see it.”
KerOUAC: The Old Man, the Sea and the Night.
Read moreKerousac said he thought it was possible to imagine an apocalypse if people lost their sense of self, and that this could happen without a revolution.
“If you are aware of this possibility, and if you can’t get it off your mind, it will probably be too late for you to save yourself from the consequences of the situation you are in,” he said.
“We are all capable of experiencing existential danger and are all responsible for it.
It is a very real danger.”
He continued: “But I don’t know if it is possible.
I think we are living in an age in which it is all too possible.
If it were to happen, it would be too fast and too sudden.
The world would be plunged into a kind of chaos, and there would be no end to it.””
I think we need to get out of our complacency, which makes it hard to see things clearly,” he added.
Kerrouac was a strong supporter of nuclear power and the “new age”, which he believed would bring about a world without war.
He was also anti-authoritarian, and believed that the world was on the verge of “the end of civilisation”.
“If we had a choice between a peaceful and a warlike society, I would rather be a peaceful society than a war-like society,” he wrote in a 1969 essay.
“The question, therefore, is not whether it is good or bad to be a pacifist, but whether we have the moral courage to do so.
If we are not moral, then what is the moral basis of civilisation?
And if we are moral, what are the ethical standards to which we must adhere?”
The author of “The Waste Land”, “The Last Tycoon”, “A Passage to India”, and “The Catcher in the Rye” was an anti-establishment, anti-globalisation campaigner who believed in free speech, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press.KEROUAC’S LOVERSARE PICTURES: