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Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac


The narrative that has been taken into consideration goes by the name of Old Angel Midnight and was written perhaps in the year 1959 and was written by the well-known author Jack Kerouac. This narrative can be considered as a consequence of Kerouac’s involuntary experiments of writing that he took up so as to spill out his chemically encouraged feelings on top of paper in order to see what can be made out of them.

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Even though it is known by all that Kerouac was in the beginning pointed the finger at by fictional critics as a nonconformist, but everyone has come to realize that his spur-of-the-moment falsifications and turnings of verbal communication pace well as compared to those of Joyce and Stein, and with the passage of time it has been rightly prove that he definitely was a significant and undyingly well-liked American writer.


The narrative under consideration, Old Angel Midnight, in which Kerouac, predisposed by James Joyce’s experimentations in Finnegan’s Wake (1939), hard-pressed spur-of-the-moment writing style to its definitive appearance and expression. Kerouac in his letter to his friend informed John Clellon Holmes that the work that he was working upon in the current time was a bit distressful. He started off by complaining that he had no sense as to what he should or should not write anymore and that the work under progress is “an endless automatic writing piece which raves on and on with no direction and no story.” (Kerouac, p. 1). This piece of work came to be known as Old Angel Midnight in which he conducted a test with free connection in order to make an effort to be able to write down “the sounds of the entire world… now swimming thru the window.” (Kerouac, p.2).

As is known, Old Angel Midnight is a long poem that presents a narration to us which was written by American writer Jack Kerouac. This narrative poem is basically a gathering from five diferent notebooks gathered between the years 1956-1959 at the same time as when Kerouac was totally engrossed in Buddhist studies and theory. In the words of the author himself, this piece of work can be taken as simply the commencement of a life time of work in the sound of a vast number of languages, putting forward the “haddalada-babra of babbling world tongues” that came in through to him by his window at midnight without consideration of where he was or what activity he was engaged in whether he was “in Mexico, Morocco, New York, India or Pakistan, in Spanish, French, Aztec, Gaelic, Keltic, Kurd or Dravidian, the sounds of people yakking and of myself yakking among, ending finally in great intuitions of the sounds of tongues throughout the entire universe in all directions in and out forever” (Kerouac, back cover).

What is more is that the author says that this book is the only one in which he has purely said what he always wanted to and written what he liked which can be anything and everything on his mind whether it be positive or negative, considering that this is what he heard coming in through the window and “God in his Infinity wouldn’t have had a world otherwise — Amen.” (Kerouac, back cover).

Amongst the vast number of prefaces that are available in the book, the well known poet McClure has written that on no account before has insignificance been hoisted to such a climax that it came out to turn into a breakthrough.

Amassed from five notebooks, the piece of writing that has been presented by the name of Old Angel Midnight, which is an uninterrupted prose poem spans around the years 1956-59, which as said was a period of time when Kerouac had wrapped up himself in Buddhist conjecture. Out of the ordinary, every now and then ridiculous indications to religion are basically found all the way through the book. As is written by the author of the book, “this holy and all universe is a wonderful white wild power, why, hell, should, heaven, interfere, words, waiting, flesh, sure, I know…” (Kerouac, p. 32). At the same time as it seems superfluous to call whatever thing by Kerouac “spontaneous,” the well known detractor and dramatist Charters points out that Kerouac though up this piece of his work as a drawing of his subconscious, “without the end or narrative direction” for which his novels are usually fumbled about for.

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Consequently all the more unrestrained, he goes on playing around with words, puns, pleasures in put together sounds, discovers new-fangled words and puts in far-off ones more or less at random. This makes the book somehow even more likeable. Similar to Kerouac’s other documents; this piece of work was kept away from being published till the time that his widow has died. For this reason we can say that maybe at the time that it was written it would have been considered a real tentative “breakthrough,” but for now it is a bit worn off, but still likeable (Kerouac, p.1-89).


In the light of the above discussion we can hereby culminate that the narrative written by Jack Kerouac known as Old Angel Midnight was written as an experiment by the author and somehow he has succeeded in it by writing down everything that he had on his mind.

Works Cited

Kerouac, Jack. Old Angel Midnight. Grey Fox Press. United States of America. ISBN-10: 0912516976.

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"Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac." StudyCorgi, 25 Oct. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac." October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac." October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac." October 25, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Old Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac'. 25 October.

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