kottke.org posts about jackkerouac

Jack Kerouac's fantasy baseball leagueMay 21 2009

Unbeknownst to his close friends, Jack Kerouac invented a fantasy baseball game and played it for most of his life.

[Kerouac's game charted] the exploits of made-up players like Wino Love, Warby Pepper, Heinie Twiett, Phegus Cody and Zagg Parker, who toiled on imaginary teams named either for cars (the Pittsburgh Plymouths and New York Chevvies, for example) or for colors (the Boston Grays and Cincinnati Blacks).

He collected their stats, analyzed their performances and, as a teenager, when he played most ardently, wrote about them in homemade newsletters and broadsides. He even covered financial news and imaginary contract disputes. During those same teenage years, he also ran a fantasy horse-racing circuit, complete with illustrated tout sheets and racing reports. He created imaginary owners, imaginary jockeys, imaginary track conditions.

Don't miss the slideshow of some of Kerouac's notebooks and publications related to his imaginary sports.

Gorgeous maps and infographics by Stefanie PosavecApr 07 2008

Gorgeous maps and infographics by Stefanie Posavec that map the literary geography of Jack Kerouac's On the Road.

The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac's literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec's approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor. And similarly, the act is near reverential in its approach and the results are stunning graphical displays of the nature of the subject. The literary organism, rhythm textures and sentence drawings are truly gorgeous pieces.

The sentence drawings are really worth checking out.

Update: Posavec's analysis of Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is available for sale at 20x200. Apropos!

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