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Kerouac and Ginsberg 'loved being conventional'

17th January 2011

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were much more conventional than many people realise, one insider has pointed out.

Carolyn Cassady, who spent 20 years on the periphery of the Beat circle after marrying Neal Cassady - the inspiration behind Kerouac's On the Road - in 1948, told guardian.co.uk that the Beats did not always live up to their rebel image.

Cassady explained that Kerouac and Howl poet Ginsberg were frequent guests at the home she shared with Neal and suggested that the writers liked to visit because of its 'traditional, conventional' atmosphere.

'They were much more conventional than people think. They never swore in front of mixed company, ever, and they would pull your chair and open car doors. They were all perfect gentlemen,' she told the website.

Furthermore, Cassady claimed the mythology which grew up around the Beats - namely that they wanted people to drop out of school and take drugs - upset Kerouac so greatly that he started to drink heavily and ultimately ruined his life.

Last year, the continued popularity of the Beats was highlighted after a typewriter owned by Kerouac sold for USD 22,500 (GBP 14,150) when it went under the hammer at Christie's in New York.
 

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