Sunday, June 7, 2009

Memoir vs fiction

In the book 'Why Kerouac matters' the author writes about the themes of 'On the road.' He suggests "'Kerouac didn't mature, he sunk deeper into drink, insecurity and his mothers toxic bosom' But that's reading On the road as a memoir, not a work of fiction."
How are you reading your book of choice, as a fiction or non fiction work?
Does any prior knowledge you have of the author impact your relationship with the text?


爱书 said...

I certainly read OTR as a work of fiction. I don't know anything about Kerouac or his mates, or of the time period he was writing in (other than what Nic posted above from Alan's perspective)so I wasn't influenced in anyway by prior knowledge

Actually, this lack probably hindered me - I wonder would I have been more open to the concepts, style and characters had I had an understanding of what it mean to be 'beat' and to live in that time and place with those sensibilities?

Nic said...

It's funny, I'm not making any distinction between fiction and non-fiction in reading On The Road. I think all fictional characters are as real to me as non-fictional ones, if I like the book, and considering what I read, this means I believe in dragons :)