My article explores the implications of rapid movement in Jack Kerouac's On the Road both on a literary and a political level, while drawing on Paul Virilio's work on speed and acceleration. The article examines the nature of the main characters' impetus for perpetual motion and discusses the ambiguity of their desire for speedy driving. Considering the significance of mobility within the cultural context of Cold War America, I investigate the influence of speed on identity formation in the novel. I subsequently look at the impact of both accelerated and decelerated movement on plot and narrative structure, and I explore the political implications of speed as reflected in the protagonists' interactions with agents of civilian power.
“Passing Everybody and Never Halting”: Dromos and Speed in Jack Kerouac's On the RoadDromos and Speed in Jack Kerouac's On the RoadEftychia Mikelli
Eftychia Mikelli is a postdoctoral teaching assistant in the Department of English Studies at Durham University in the United Kingdom, where she also completed her PhD thesis. She has research interests in Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and Paul Virilio. Her publications include articles in AtlantisMiscelánea, and American Studies Today, and she is now working on her contributions to The Virilio Dictionary (forthcoming).
- Views Icon Views
Eftychia Mikelli; “Passing Everybody and Never Halting”: Dromos and Speed in Jack Kerouac's On the RoadDromos and Speed in Jack Kerouac's On the RoadEftychia Mikelli. Cultural Politics 1 March 2012; 8 (1): 139–156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-1572030
Download citation file:
- Share Icon Share