Hit The Road: Kerouac Out, Updike In

A sign of civilization in an age where the edgy, extreme and downright trashy are lauded daily, the April issue of GQ encourages readers to “kill their style icons,” and suggests trading Jack Kerouac for John Updike.

Kerouac went to Columbia, but was too bohemian to dress Ivy League. Updike, on the other hand, went to Harvard and it shows.

Here’s Ivy Style’s tribute post following the author’s death in 2009. — CC

10 Comments on "Hit The Road: Kerouac Out, Updike In"

  1. Dutch Uncle | March 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm |

    Kerouac, if anyone, can be blamed for speeding up the decline and fall of American literature.

  2. Remember, Kerouac went to Columbia on a football scholarship

  3. Kerouauc was a better writer than Updike, IMO

  4. You obviously haven’t seen the famous photo of Kerouac standing in front of a bar and wearing chinos and a white button-down shirt (with the perfect collar roll).

  5. @Amory

    During a certain time period, you can find one photo of almost any celebrity wearing khakis. I think The Gap had an entire ad campaign about that. Kerouac was a slob.

  6. Well, Kerouac grew up very working class in an industrial town (Lowell, Mass.) and as NCJack points out, he went to Columbia on a football scholarship. He did not graduate. Keoruac’s French-Canadian background precludes him from being considered a WASP. But Dutch Uncle is off-base about Kerouac being any kind of discredit to American literature. I imagine he’s never read a Kerouac book. Anyway, let’s all remember what the Gap ad told us: “Kerouac wore khakis.” http://www.google.com/imgres?q=kerouac+khakis&hl=en&biw=1526&bih=798&gbv=2&tbm=isch&tbnid=hx4H51woOobnVM:&imgrefurl=http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/kerouac-gap.html&docid=l13qcsEvsjUPNM&imgurl=http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Images/jksm.gif&w=446&h=600&ei=xbF4T8OlF4HDgQffvcmdBw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=180&vpy=120&dur=7848&hovh=260&hovw=193&tx=113&ty=162&sig=105210880195122709317&page=1&tbnh=141&tbnw=113&start=0&ndsp=36&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0

  7. Ananni Muus | April 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    That Gap campaign also included Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr. and Picasso.

    Ivy icons? If you’re a UK Ivy obsessive I guess you’d find some way to force-fit them into your “UK-Ivy-alternate-universe” narrative.

  8. This is when the whole WASP obsession becomes weird. When you begin to scrutinize everybody’s racial pedigree, and act as if true (trad dressing) blue bloods are (obviously) the best artists, writers, scientists, statesman, etc….It becomes a vulgar and childish display.

    Kerouac is overrated and juvenile and it has nothing to do with his football scholarship, his French-Canadian heritage, or his un-trad wardrobe.

  9. A friendly voice. | April 5, 2012 at 8:18 am |

    “Ivy” is only a style of dress in this context, or did I miss something?
    If you want to limit Ivy to just Ivy Grads who wore it (and you can!) then you have to write off most of the wearers of the style.
    You choose.
    All those Ivy Grads who didn’t wear it and all those Non-Ivies who did are requested to form an orderly line elsewhere!
    Please could all authors and commentators on this blog state their college and year of graduation. That should leave us with a nice quiet blog……………….
    And a rather dull read!

  10. Christian | April 5, 2012 at 8:36 am |

    Quote: “If you want to limit Ivy to just Ivy Grads who wore it…”

    Who said this and where?

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