Got this postcard from Canada! Here we have an illustration of American novelist Jack Kerouac, one of the leaders of the Beat Generation. Just to lay some groundwork, the Beat Generation is a 1950s movement that took place in America following World War II. Retrospectively, the period before this was called the Era of Conformity, where daily activities were routine and everyone followed the same values (man goes to work, woman stays home, everyone has a suburban home with a picket fence and a dog named Spot, etc.) The Beat movement rose out of people becoming “beat” from all the mundanity, although Kerouac applied other spins to the name’s meaning, like being “on the beat”, musically. The Beat Generation was characterized by breaking from the traditional with things like music, art, fashion, and literature, and it advocated experimentation and exploration of things that would have otherwise been considered taboo, like drugs and sex. I’m sure many of you are familiar with Elvis Presley – he’s one of the most famous icons of this generation. But anyway, that was a lot of groundwork, and I don’t wanna take too much spotlight away from Jack! So Jack Kerouac was one of the key leaders in this very unconventional movement. He was the author of a number of novels, to include the very popular novel titled “On the Road”, which uses characters inspired by the other big Beat Generation leaders (who were also his friends). Interesting to note is that Kerouac wrote his manuscripts using one long roll of teletype paper, rather than individual pages, and his style involved the use of “spontaneous prose”, which was pretty much the free flowing of thoughts without any heed to sentence breaks, proper grammar or “correct” word choice. This allowed him to finish this novel in only three weeks, although it took seven years to publish. Sadly, he passed away in his late 40s, but following his death came the publication of the rest of his works and of course much regard for his literary contributions. Maybe I should try spontaneous prose with these posts ‘cause I swear it takes me like five minutes for one sentence. Betty and Wendy, bring me my teleprinter! Thank you so much for this awesome postcard!