Ave America! From Whitman to Kerouac…

DANIEL ADLERWhen Europe sloughed off her old skin and the ones who didn’t want to accomodate post-liberation Europe traveled the great Atlantic to come to the continent they were not free and they didn’t seek freedom — just think of the Salem Witch Trials, as if they were a result of great religious freedoms — no they went onwards west because they sought only greater tradition in their righteousness, their beliefs. Until they came to the mighty Pacific and this was the edge of the world, and the last of the great frontier until they got to Alaska but even that doesn’t count, for when they saw the mighty Pacific with its golden foil uncurling on the whited strand, there was death only and this angered them, although it should not have. But that is why Americans resist. They say we are this and this and that and NOT that and this is an evasion of their oneness with the rest of the European tradition and the world entire.

Whitman was the first to understand that the great Pacific and its signal of death was cause for happiness. What sweeter than love and death? And from his mantle came Kerouac in his spontaneous compositions and all that is left is for everyone else to accept what has been left. That will help them all confront death and love and infinity.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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