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Norman Podhoretz and Jack Kerouac

January 24, 1987

I was re-reading Kerouac's "Dr. Sax," his prose poem in praise of growing up in Lowell, Mass., when I read Podhoretz on Kerouac. How did Podhoretz ever get the idea that Kerouac "heaped abuse on the way of live lived in places like Lowell"?

Podhoretz' definition of what a novel is places him back in Victorian times. Has he no inkling of how the novel continues to evolve?

Kerouac was above all a poet in his writings. Lucky the nation that is blessed by the appearance of a poet. Perhaps the reader needs that "touch-of-a-poet" in himself to recognize the genius of a Kerouac. Obviously Podhoretz is sadly lacking in any such faculty.

C.A. MAYORGA

Glendale

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