A guide to the Duluoz
Legend and other related works - by Dave Moore
preface to Big Sur, Jack Kerouac stated that his work comprised
"one vast book like Proust's," and that his novels On the Road,
The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums, Doctor Sax, Maggie
Cassidy, Tristessa, Desolation Angels, and Big Sur,
were merely chapters in the whole work which he called The Duluoz Legend.
on to say that because of publishers' objections he was not allowed to use the
same personae names in each book, but that he one day intended to go through
his work and re-insert uniform character names, "and die happy."
was never able to perform this renaming exercise, and as a result, the
multiplicity of character names in his novels is a source of confusion for many
present work aims at easing that problem by showing the links between the
characters in all of his writings, as well as attempting to identify the real
persons on whom the characterisations were based.
the characters in the Duluoz Legend covered a wide coterie of friends and
acquaintances, some of whom were also writers who drew characters from the same
pool, the relevant works of these writers have also been included in this
section of the guide provides a character key to each of Kerouac's works, as
well as to the work of other related writers:
Another section gathers together all of this information in the form of a complete alphabetical list of the 600 characters involved, together with brief biographical details and images, where available:
Kerouac's family played an important part in his life and work, and genealogical charts of both his father's and his mother's families are also provided:
NOTE: Complete biographical information about the more prominent characters is widely available online and elsewhere, and so is minimal here, where most attention has been given to the more obscure individuals.
© 2010, Dave Moore
© 2010, Dave Moore