Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Enoch Bennett

Enoch Arnold Bennett was born on 27 May 1867 in a modest house in Hanley, one of a conurbation of 6 towns which joined together at the beginning of the 20th century as Stoke-on-Trent, in the Potteries district of Staffordshire. Enoch Bennett died on 27 March 1931 of typhoid at his home in Baker Street, London, England, UK. Enoch Bennett’s ashes are buried in Burslem cemetery. Their daughter Virginia Eldin lived in France and was president of the Arnold Bennett Society.

Enoch Bennett was an English novelist.

Enoch Bennett’s father, qualified as a solicitor in 1876, and the family were able to move to a larger house between Hanley and Burslem. The younger Enoch Bennett was educated locally in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Enoch Bennett was employed by his father – his duties included rent collecting. Enoch Bennett was unhappy working for his father for little financial reward, and the theme of parental miserliness is important in his novels. In his spare time he was able to do a little journalism, but his breakthrough as a writer was to come after he had moved from his native Potteries. At the age of 21, he left his father’s practice and went to London as a solicitor’s clerk.

Enoch Bennett won a literary competition in Tit-Bits magazine in 1889 and was encouraged to take up journalism full time. In 1894, he became assistant editor of the periodical Woman. Enoch Bennett noticed that the material offered by a syndicate to the magazine was not very good, so he wrote a serial which was bought by the syndicate for £75.00. Enoch Bennett then wrote another. This became The Grand Babylon Hotel. Just over 4 years later, his 1st novel A Man from the North was published to critical acclaim and he became editor to the magazine.

From 1900 he devoted himself full time to writing, giving up the editorship and writing much serious criticism, and also theatre journalism, one of his special interests. Enoch Bennett moved to Trinity Hall Farm, Hockliffe, Bedfordshire, on Watling Street, which was the inspiration for his novel Teresa of Watling Street, which came out in 1904. Enoch Bennett’s father Enoch Bennett died there in 1902, and is buried in Chalgrove churchyard. In 1902, Anna of the 5 Towns, the 1st of a succession of stories which detailed life in the Potteries, appeared.

In 1903, he moved to Paris, where other great artists from around the world had converged on Montmartre and Montparnasse. Enoch Bennett spent the next 8 years writing novels and plays. In 1908 The Old Wives’ Tale was published, and was an immediate success throughout the English-speaking world. After a visit to America in 1911, where he had been publicised and acclaimed as no other visiting writer since Dickens, he returned to England where Old Wives’ Tale was reappraised and hailed as a masterpiece. During the First World War, he became Director of Propaganda at the War Ministry. Enoch Bennett refused a knighthood in 1918. Enoch Bennett won the 1923 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Riceyman Steps and in 1926, at the suggestion of Lord Beaverbrook, he began writing an influential weekly article on books for the Evening Standard newspaper.

Osbert Sitwell, in a letter to James Agate, notes that Enoch Bennett was not, despite current views, “the typical businessman, with his mean and narrow outlook”. Osbert Sitwell cited a letter from Enoch Bennett to a friend of James Agate, who remains anonymous, in Ego 5:

I find I am richer this year than last; so I enclose a cheque for £500.00 for you to distribute among young writers and artists and musicians who may need the money. You will know, better than I do, who they are. But I must make one condition, that you do not reveal that the money has come from me, or tell anyone about it.

Enoch Bennett separated from his French wife in 1922, and fell in love with the actress Dorothy Cheston, with whom he stayed for the rest of his life.

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Schizophrenia Series-Disabled Legend Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (pronounced /ˈkɛɹəwæk/; was born on 12 March, 1922 and died on 21 October, 1969 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, one day after being rushed with severe abdominal pain from his St. Petersburg home by ambulance.

Jack Kerouac’s death, at the age of 47, resulted from an internal hemorrhage(bleeding esophageal varices) caused by cirrhosis, the result of a lifetime of heavy drinking. At the time of his death, he was living with his 3rd wife Stella, and his mother Gabrielle. Jack Kerouac is buried in his home town of Lowell and was honoured posthumously with a Doctor of Letters degree from his hometown’s University of Massachusetts Lowell on 2 June, 2007.

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist from Lowell, Massachusetts. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is amongst the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation.

Jack Kerouac’s work was very popular, but received little critical acclaim during his lifetime. Today, he is considered an important and influential writer who inspired others, including Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Robbins, Lester Bangs, Richard Brautigan, Ken Kesey, and writers of the New Journalism. Jack Kerouac also influenced musicians such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Barenaked Ladies, Tom Waits, Simon & Garfunkel, Ulf Lundell and Jim Morrison. Jack Kerouac’s best-known books are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, The Subterraneans, and Visions of Cody.

Jack Kerouac was born Jean Louis Kirouac, in Lowell, Massachusetts to French-Canadian parents, Léo-Alcide Kerouac and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque, natives of the province of Quebec, Canada. Like many other Quebecers of their generation, the Lévesques and Kerouacs were part of the Quebec emigration to New England to find employment. Jack Kerouac’s father was related to Brother Marie-Victorin (né Conrad Kirouac), one of Canada’s most prominent botanists and his mother was 2nd cousin to future Quebec premier René Lévesque.

Jack Kerouac often gave conflicting stories about his family history and the origins of his surname. Though his father was born to a family of potato farmers in the village of St-Hubert, he often claimed aristocratic descent, sometimes from a Breton noble granted land after the Battle of Quebec, whose sons all married Native Americans. However, research has shown him to be the descendant of a middle-class merchant settler, whose sons married French Canadians. Jack Kerouac was part Native American through his mother’s largely Norman-side of the family. Jack Kerouac also had various stories on the etymology of his surname, usually tracing it back to Irish, Breton, or other Celtic roots. In one interview he claimed it was the name of a dead Celtic language and in another said it was from the Irish for “language of the water” and related to “Kerwick”. The name, though Breton, seems to derive from the name of one of several hamlets in Brittany near Rosporden.

Jack Kerouac did not start to learn English until the age of 6, and at home, he and his family spoke Joual, a Quebec French dialect. When he was 4 he was profoundly affected by the death of his 9-year-old brother, Gérard, from rheumatic fever, an event later described in his novel Visions of Gerard. Some of Jack Kerouac’s poetry was written in French, and in letters written to friend Allen Ginsberg towards the end of his life he expressed his desire to speak his parents’ native tongue again. Recently, it was discovered that Jack Kerouac first started writing On the Road in French, a language in which he also wrote 2 unpublished novels. The writings are in dialectal Quebec French, and predate the 1st plays of Michel Tremblay by a decade.

Jack Kerouac’s athletic prowess led him to become a 100-meter hurdler on his local high school track team, and his skills as a running back in American football earned him scholarship offers from Boston College, Notre Dame and Columbia University. Jack Kerouac entered Columbia University after spending a year at Horace Mann School, where he earned the requisite grades to matriculate to Columbia. Jack Kerouac cracked a tibia playing football during his freshman season, and he argued constantly with coach Lou Little who kept him benched. While at Columbia, Jack Kerouac wrote several sports articles for the student newspaper, the Columbia Daily Spectator.

When his football career at Columbia soured, especially because of conflict with Lou Little, Jack Kerouac dropped out of the university, though he continued to live for a period on New York City’s Upper West Side with his girlfriend, Edie Parker. It was during this time that he met the people — now famous — with whom he will always be associated, the subjects injected into many of his novels: the so-called Beat Generation, including Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke and William S. Burroughs. Jack Kerouac joined the United States Merchant Marine in 1942, and in 1943 joined the United States Navy, but was honorably discharged during World War II on psychiatric grounds (he was of “indifferent character” with a diagnosis of “schizoid personality”).

In 1944, Jack Kerouac was arrested as a material witness in the murder of David Kammerer, who’d been stalking Jack Kerouac’s friend Lucien Carr since Lucien Carr was a teenager in St. Louis. (William Burroughs was himself a native of St. Louis, and it was through Lucien Carr that Jack Kerouac came to know both Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.) When David Kammerer’s obsession with Lucien Carr turned aggressive, Lucien Carr stabbed him to death and turned to Jack Kerouac for help. Together, they disposed of evidence. As advised by Burroughs, they turned themselves in. Jack Kerouac’s father refused to pay his bail. Jack Kerouac then agreed to marry Edie Parker if she’d pay it. Their marriage was annulled a year later, and Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs briefly collaborated on a novel about the David Kammerer killing entitled And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks. Though the book was not published during the lifetimes of either Jack Kerouac or William Burroughs, an excerpt eventually appeared in Word Virus: A William S. Burroughs Reader (and as noted below, the book is now scheduled for publication in late 2008). Jack Kerouac also later wrote about the killing in his novel Vanity of Duluoz.

Beginning of the original typed roll where Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road. The 1st sentence is: “I first met met Neal not long after my father died…” Later it would be replaced by the definitive one: “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up”.Later, he lived with his parents in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, after they, too, moved to New York. He wrote his first novel, The Town and the City, and, according to at least John Clellon Holmes, began the famous On the Road around 1949 while living there. Jack Kerouac’s friends jokingly called him “The Wizard of Ozone Park,” a spoof of Thomas Edison’s “Wizard of Menlo Park” nickname while simultaneously alluding to the title character of the film The Wizard of Oz and a shortened form of the word “ozone”.

Jack Kerouac tended to write constantly, carrying a notebook with him everywhere. Letters to friends and family members tended to be long and rambling, including great detail about his daily life and thoughts. Prior to becoming a writer, he tried a varied list of careers. Jack Kerouac was a sports reporter for The Lowell Sun; a temporary worker in construction and food service; a United States Merchant Marine and he joined the United States Navy twice.

The Town and the City was published in 1950 under the name “John Kerouac,” and, though it earned him a few respectable reviews, the book sold poorly. Heavily influenced by Jack Kerouac’s reading of Thomas Wolfe, it reflects on the generational epic formula and the contrasts of small town life versus the multi-dimensional, and larger, city. The book was heavily edited by Robert Giroux; some 400pages were taken out.

For the next 6 years, John Kerouac wrote constantly. Building upon previous drafts tentatively titled “The Beat Generation” and “Gone on the Road,” Jack Kerouac wrote what is now known as On the Road in April of 1951 while living at 454 West 20th Street in Manhattan with his 2nd wife, Joan Haverty. The book was largely autobiographical and describes Jack Kerouac’s road-trip adventures across the United States and Mexico with Neal Cassady in the late-40’s, as well his relationships with other Beat writers and friends. Jack Kerouac completed the 1st version of the novel during a 3 week extended session of spontaneous confessional prose. Before beginning, Jack Kerouac cut sheets of tracing paper into long strips, wide enough for a type-writer, and taped them together into a 120-foot (37 m) long roll he then fed into the machine. This allowed him to type continuously without the interruption of reloading pages. The resulting manuscript contained no chapter or paragraph breaks and was much more explicit than what would eventually be printed.

Though “spontaneous”, Jack Kerouac had prepared long in advance before beginning to write. In fact, according to his Columbia professor and mentor Mark Van Doren, he had outlined much of the work in his journals over the several preceding years.

Though the work was completed quickly, Jack Kerouac had a long and difficult time finding a buyer. Publishers rejected the manuscript due to its experimental writing style and its sympathetic tone towards minorities and marginalized social groups of post-War America. Many editors were also uncomfortable with the idea of publishing a book that contained, what was for the time, graphic descriptions of drug-use and homosexual behaviour, a move that could result in obscenity charges being filled, a fate that later befell Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Ginsberg’s Howl.

In late 1951, Joan Haverty left and divorced Jack Kerouac while pregnant. In February of 1952, she gave birth to Jack Kerouac’s only child Jan Kerouac, though he refused to acknowledge her as his own until a blood test confirmed it 9 years later. For the next several years Jack Kerouac continued writing and traveling, taking extensive trips though out the U.S. and Mexico and often fell into bouts of depression and heavy drug and alcohol use. During this period he finished drafts for what would become 10 more novels, including The Subterraneans, Doctor Sax, Tristessa, and Desolation Angels, which chronicle many of the events of these years.

In 1954, Jack Kerouac discovered Dwight Goddard’s A Buddhist Bible at the San Jose Library, which marked the beginning of Jack Kerouac’s immersion into Buddhism. In 1955 Jack Kerouac wrote a biography of Siddhartha Gautama, entitled Wake Up, which was unpublished during his lifetime but eventually serialised in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 1993-95.

In 1957, after being rejected by several other firms, On the Road was finally purchased by Viking Press, which demanded major revisions prior to publication. Many of the more sexually explicit passages were removed and, fearing libel suits, pseudonyms were used for the books “characters.” These revisions have often led to criticisms as to the actual spontaneity of Jack Kerouac’s style.

In July 1957, Jack Kerouac moved to a small house at 1418½ Clouser Ave. in the College Park section of Orlando, Florida to await the release of On the Road. A few weeks later, the review appeared in the New York Times proclaiming Jack Kerouac the voice of a new generation. Jack Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer. Jack Kerouac’s friendship with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso, among others, became a notorious representation of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac’s fame would come as an unmanageable surge that would ultimately be his undoing. Jack Kerouac’s novel is often described as the defining work of the post-World War II Beat Generation and Jack Kerouac came to be called “the king of the beat generation,” a term that he never felt comfortable with. Jack Kerouac once observed, “I’m not a beatnik, I’m a Catholic.”

The immediate success of On the Road brought Jack Kerouac instant fame. Jack Kerouac soon found he had little taste for celebrity status. After 9 months, he no longer felt safe in public. Jack Kerouac was badly beaten by 3 men outside the San Remo Bar in New York one night. Neal Cassady, possibly as a result of his new notoriety as the central character of the book, was set up and arrested for selling pot.

Publishers were eager for a quick “sequel” to capitalise on On the Road’s success. In response, Jack Kerouac chronicled parts of his own experience with Buddhism, as well as some of his adventures with Gary Snyder and other San Francisco-area poets, in The Dharma Bums, set in California and Washington and published in 1958. It was written in Orlando, Florida between 26 November and 7 December, 1957. To begin writing Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac typed onto a 10-foot length of teletype paper, to avoid interrupting his flow for paper changes, as he had done 6 years previously for On the Road.

Jack Kerouac was demoralised by criticism of Dharma Bums from such respected figures in the American field of Buddhism as Zen teacher Ruth Fuller Sasaki and Alan Watts. Jack Kerouac wrote to Snyder, referring to a meeting with D. T. Suzuki, that “even Suzuki was looking at me through slitted eyes as tho I was a monstrous imposter”. He passed up the opportunity to reunite with Snyder in California, and explained to Whalen, “I’d be ashamed to confront you and Gary now I’ve become so decadent and drunk and dontgiveashit. I’m not a Buddhist any more.”

Jack Kerouac also wrote and narrated a “Beat” movie entitled Pull My Daisy in 1959. Originally to be called “The Beat Generation”, the title was changed at the last moment when MGM released a film by the same name which sensationalised “beatnik” culture.

John Antonelli’s 1985 documentary Jack Kerouac, the Movie begins and ends with footage of Jack Kerouac reading from On the Road and Visions of Cody on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen in 1957. Jack Kerouac appears intelligent but shy. “Are you nervous?” asks Steve Allen. “Naw”, says Jack Kerouac, sweating and fiddling.

Jack Kerouac developed something of a friendship with the scholar Alan Watts (cryptically named Arthur Wayne in Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur, and Alex Aums in Desolation Angels). Jack Kerouac moved to Northport, New York in March 1958, 6 months after releasing On the Road, to care for his aging mother Gabrielle and to hide from his new-found celebrity status.

In 2007, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of On the Road’s publishing, Viking issued two new editions: On the Road: The Original Scroll, and On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition.[20][21] By far the more significant is Scroll, a transcription of the original draft typed as one long paragraph on sheets of tracing paper which Kerouac taped together to form a 120-foot (37 m) scroll. The text is more sexually explicit than Viking allowed to be published in 1957, and also uses the real names of Kerouac’s friends rather than the fictional names he later substituted.

(Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay paid $2.43,000,000 for the original scroll and is allowing an exhibition tour that will conclude at the end of 2009. The other new issue, 50th Anniversary Edition, is a reissue of the 40th anniversary issue under an updated title.

In March 2008, Penguin Books announced that the Kerouac/Burroughs manuscript, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks will be published for the first time in November 2008. Previously, a fragment of the manuscript had been published in the Burroughs compendium, Word Virus.

Jack Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement, although he actively disliked such labels, and, in particular, regarded the subsequent Hippie movement with some disdain. Jack Kerouac’s method was heavily influenced by the prolific explosion of Jazz, especially the Bebop genre established by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and others. Later, Jack Kerouac would include ideas he developed in his Buddhist studies, beginning with Gary Snyder. Jack Kerouac called this style Spontaneous Prose, a literary technique akin to stream of consciousness. Although Jack Kerouac’s prose were spontaneous and purportedly without edits, he primarily wrote autobiographical novels (or Roman à clef) based upon actual events from his life and the people he interacted with.

Many of his books exemplified this approach including On the Road, Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard, Big Sur, and The Subterraneans. The central features of this writing method were the ideas of breath (borrowed from Jazz and from Buddhist meditation breathing), improvising words over the inherent structures of mind and language, and not editing a single word (much of his work was edited by Donald Merriam Allen, a major figure in Beat Generation poetry who also edited some of Ginsberg’s work as well). Connected with his idea of breath was the elimination of the period, preferring to use a long, connecting dash instead. As such, the phrases occurring between dashes might resemble improvisational jazz licks. When spoken, the words might take on a certain kind of rhythm, though none of it pre-meditated.

Jack Kerouac greatly admired Gary Snyder, many of whose ideas influenced him. The Dharma Bums contains accounts of a mountain climbing trip Jack Kerouac took with Snyder, and also whole paragraphs from letters Gary Snyder had written to Jack Kerouac. While living with Gary Snyder outside Mill Valley, California in 1956, Jack Kerouac was working on a book centering around Gary Snyder, which he was thinking of calling Visions of Gary.(This eventually became Dharma Bums, which Jack Kerouac described as “mostly about [Snyder]”.)That summer, Jack Kerouac took a job as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak in the North Cascades in Washington, after hearing Gary Snyder’s and Philip Whalen’s accounts of their own lookout stints. Jack Kerouac described the experience in his novel Desolation Angels.

Jack Kerouac would go on for hours, often drunk, to friends and strangers about his method. Allen Ginsberg, initially unimpressed, would later be one of its great proponents, and indeed, he was apparently influenced by Jack Kerouac’s free flowing prose method of writing in the composition of his masterpiece “Howl”. It was at about the time that Jack Kerouac wrote The Subterraneans that he was approached by Allen Ginsberg and others to formally explicate exactly how he wrote it, how he did Spontaneous Prose. Among the writings he set down specifically about his Spontaneous Prose method, the most concise would be Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, a list of thirty “essentials.”

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
Submissive to everything, open, listening
Try never get drunk outside your own house
Be in love with your life
Something that you feel will find its own form
Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
Blow as deep as you want to blow
Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
The unspeakable visions of the individual
No time for poetry but exactly what is
Visionary tics shivering in the chest
In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
Like Proust be an old teahead of time
Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
Write in recollection and amazement for yrself
Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
Accept loss forever
Believe in the holy contour of life
Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
You’re a Genius all the time
Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”
from On the Road

Some believed that at times Jack Kerouac’s writing technique did not produce lively or energetic prose. Truman Capote famously said about Jack Kerouac’s work, “That’s not writing, it’s typing.” Despite such criticism, it should be kept in mind that what Jack Kerouac said about writing and how he wrote are sometimes seen to be separate. According to Carolyn Cassady and other people who knew him he rewrote and rewrote. Some claim his own style was in no way spontaneous. However it should be taken into account that throughout most of the ’50s, Jack Kerouac was constantly trying to have his work published, and consequently he often revised and re-arranged manuscripts in an often futile attempt to interest publishers, as is clearly documented in his collected letters (which are in themselves wonderful examples of his style). The Subterraneans and Visions of Cody are possibly the best examples of Jack Kerouac’s free-flowing spontaneous prose method.

Although the body of Jack Kerouac’s work has been published in English, recent research has suggested that, aside from already known correspondence and letters written to friends and familly, he also wrote unpublished works of fiction in French. A manuscript entitled Sur le Chemin (On the road) completed in 5 days in Mexico during December 1952 is a telling example of Jack Kerouac’s attempts at writing in Joual, a dialect typical of the French-Canadian working class of the time, which can be summarised as a form of expression utilising both old patois and modern French mixed with modern English words (windshield being a modern English expression used casually by some French Canadians even today). Set in 1935, mostly on the American east coast, The short manuscript (50 pages), explores some of the recurring themes of Jack Kerouac’s literature by way of a narrative very close to, if not identical to the spoken word. It tells the story of a group of men, including a young 13-year-old Jack Kerouac to whom he refers to as Ti-Jean, who agree to meet in New York. Ti-Jean and his father Leo (Jack Kerouac’s father’s real name) leave Boston by car, traveling to assist friends looking for a place to stay in the city. The story actually follows 2 cars and their passengers, 1 driving out of Denver and the other from Boston until they eventually meet in a dingy bar in New York’s Chinatown. In it, Jack Kerouac’s “French” is written in a form which has little regard for grammar or spelling, relying often on phonetics in order to render an authentic reproduction of his French-Canadian vernacular. Jack Kerouac does not only use Joual freely but frequently confuses grammatical word genders and verb tenses, a phenomenon typical to the francophone speech pattern of the assimilated French Canadians of the American east coast at the time. Even though this work shares the same title as one of his best known English novels, it is rather the original French version of a short text that would later become Old bull in the Bowery (also unpublished) once translated to English prose by Jack Kerouac himself. Sur le Chemin is Jack Kerouac’s 2nd known French manuscript, the 1st being La nuit est ma Femme written in early 1951 and completed a few days before he began the original English version of On the Road.

Jack Kerouac’s technique was heavily influenced by Jazz, especially Bebop, and later, Buddhism, as well as the famous “Joan Anderson letter”, authored by Neal Cassady.

The Diamond Sutra was the most important Buddhist text for Jack Kerouac, and “probably 1 of the 3 or 4 most influential things he ever read.” In 1955, he began an intensive study of this sutra, in a repeating weekly cycle, devoting 1 day to each of the 6 Pāramitās, and the 7th to the concluding passage on Samādhi. This was his sole reading on Desolation Peak, and he hoped by this means to condition his mind to emptiness, and possibly to have a vision.

Jack Kerouac is considered by some[who?] as the “King of the Beats”, a title with which Jack Kerouac himself was deeply uncomfortable.

Jack Kerouac’s plainspeak manner of writing prose, as well as his nearly long-form haiku style of poetry have inspired countless modern neo-beat writers and artists, such as painter George Condo, poet and philosopher Roger Craton, and filmmaker John McNaughton.

In 1974 the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was open in his honour by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at Naropa University, a private Buddhist University in Boulder, Colorado. The school offers an MFA in Writing & Poetics, a BA in Writing and Literature, a Summer Writing Program, and MFA in Creative Writing.

In 1997, the house on Clouser Avenue where Dharma Bums was written was purchased by a newly formed non-profit group entitled The Jack Kerouac Writers in Residence Project of Orlando, Inc. This group continues to this day to provide aspiring writers to live in the same house Jack Kerouac was inspired in, with room and board covered, for 3 months.

In 2007, Jack Kerouac was awarded a posthumous honourary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was born on 15 August 1771 in College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland and died on 21 September 1832. Sir Walter Scott was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet popular throughout Europe during his time.

In some ways Sir Walter Scott was the 1st English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers all over Europe, Australia, and North America. Sir Walter Scott’s novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Sir Walter Scott’s childhood at Sandyknowe farm, seen across the lochan from Smailholm Tower, introduced him to the Borders. Sir Walter Scott was the son of a solicitor, the young Walter Scott survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that would leave him lame. To cure his lameness he was sent in that year to live in the rural Borders region at his grandparents’ farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, and learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends which characterized much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, and that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure being made at Prestonpans during the following summer.

In 1778 Sir Walter Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, and in October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scott was now well able to walk and explore the city as well as the surrounding countryside. Sir Walter Scott’s reading included chivalric romances, poems, history and travel books. Sir Walter Scott was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, and learned from him the history of the Kirk with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for 6 months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local Grammar School where he met James Ballantyne who later became his business partner and printed his books.

Sir Walter Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of only 12, so he was a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father’s office, to become a Writer to the Signet. While at the university Sir Walter Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons. Sir Walter Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock who lent him books as well as introducing him to James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15 year old Walter Scott saw Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting. When Robert Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem “The Justice of the Peace” and asked who had written the poem, only Sir Walter Scott could tell him it was by John Langhorne, and was thanked by Robert Burns. When it was decided that he would become a lawyer he returned to the university to study law, 1st taking classes in Moral Philosophy and Universal History in 1789–90.

After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh. As a lawyer’s clerk he made his 1st visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. Sir Walter Scott was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792. Sir Walter Scott had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet.

Sir Walter Scott’s childhood at Sandyknowes, close to Smailholm Tower, introduced him to tales of the Scottish Borders. At the age of 25 he began dabbling in writing, translating works from German, his 1st publication being rhymed versions of ballads by Bürger in 1796. Sir Walter Scott then published a 3 volume set of collected Scottish ballads, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. This was the 1st sign of his interest in Scottish history from a literary standpoint.

Sir Walter Scott then became an ardent volunteer in the yeomanry and on one of his “raids” he met at Gilsland Spa Margaret Charlotte Charpentier (or Charpenter), daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon in France whom he married in 1797. They had 5children. In 1799 he was appointed Sheriff-Deputy of the County of Selkirk, based in the Royal Burgh of Selkirk.

In his earlier married days, Sir Walter Scott had a decent living from his earnings at the law, his salary as Sheriff-Deputy, his wife’s income, some revenue from his writing, and his share of his father’s rather meagre estate.

After Sir Walter Scott had founded a printing press, his poetry, beginning with The Lay of the Last Minstrel in 1805, brought him fame. Sir Walter Scott published a number of other poems over the next 10 years, including the popular The Lady of the Lake, printed in 1810 and set in the Trossachs. Portions of the German translation of this work were later set to music by Franz Schubert. One of these songs, Ellens dritter Gesang, is popularly labelled as “Schubert’s Ave Maria”.

When the press became embroiled in pecuniary difficulties, Sir Walter Scott set out, in 1814, to write a cash-cow. The result was Waverley, a novel which did not name its author. It was a tale of the “45” Jacobite rising in the Kingdom of Great Britain with its English protagonist Edward Waverley, by his Tory upbringing sympathetic to Jacobitism, becoming enmeshed in events but eventually choosing Hanoverian respectability. The novel met with considerable success. There followed a succession of novels over the next 5 years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, he maintained the anonymous habit he had begun with Waverley, always publishing the novels under the name Author of Waverley or attributed as “Tales of…” with no author. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open he maintained the façade, apparently out of a sense of fun. During this time the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer. Edward Waverley’s identity as the author of the novels was widely rumoured, and in 1815 Sir Walter Scott was given the honour of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet “the author of Waverley”.

In 1819 he broke away from writing about Scotland with Ivanhoe, a historical romance set in 12th-century England. It too was a runaway success and, as he did with his 1st novel, he wrote several books along the same lines. Among other things, the book is noteworthy for having a very sympathetic Jewish major character, Rebecca, considered by many critics to be the book’s real heroine – relevant to the fact that the book was published at a time when the struggle for the Emancipation of the Jews in England was gathering momentum.

As his fame grew during this phase of his career, he was granted the title of baronet, becoming Sir Walter Scott. At this time he organised the visit of King George IV to Scotland, and when the King visited Edinburgh in 1822 the spectacular pageantry Sir Walter Scott had concocted to portray George as a rather tubby reincarnation of Bonnie Prince Charlie made tartans and kilts fashionable and turned them into symbols of Scottish national identity.

Sir Walter Scott included little in the way of punctuation in his drafts which he left to the printers to supply.

Beginning in 1825 he went into dire financial straits again, as his company nearly collapsed. That he was the author of his novels became general knowledge at this time as well. Rather than declare bankruptcy he placed his home, Abbotsford House, and income into a trust belonging to his creditors, and proceeded to write his way out of debt. Sir Walter Scott kept up his prodigious output of fiction (as well as producing a biography of Napoléon Bonaparte) until 1831. By then his health was failing, and he died at Abbotsford in 1832. Though not in the clear by then, his novels continued to sell, and he made good his debts from beyond the grave. Sir Walter Scott was buried in Dryburgh Abbey where nearby, fittingly, a large statue can be found of William Wallace—one of Scotland’s most romantic historical figures.

When Sir Walter Scott was a boy he sometimes travelled with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, in the Border Country where some of his novels are set. At a certain spot the old gentleman would stop the carriage and take his son to a stone on the site of the battle of Melrose (1526). Not far away was a little farm called Cartleyhole, and this he eventually purchased. In due course the farmhouse developed into a wonderful home that has been likened to a fairy palace. Through windows enriched with the insignia of heraldry the sun shone on suits of armour, trophies of the chase, fine furniture, and still finer pictures. Panelling of oak and cedar and carved ceilings relieved by coats of arms in their correct colour added to the beauty of the house. More land was purchased, until Sir Walter Scott owned nearly 1,000 acres (4 km²), and it is estimated that the building cost him over £25,000. A neighbouring Roman road with a ford used in olden days by the abbots of Melrose suggested the name of Abbotsford.

The last of his direct descendants to inhabit Abbotsford House was his great-great-great granddaughter Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott (8 June 1923 – 7 July 2004). Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott inherited it from her elder sister Patricia in 1998. Patricia and Jean turned the house into one of Scotland’s premier tourist attractions, after they had to rely on paying visitors to afford the upkeep of the house. It had electricity installed only in 1962. Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott was at one time a lady-in-waiting to Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester; patron of the Dandie Dinmont Club, for a breed of dog named after one of Sir Walter Scott’s characters; and a horse trainer, one of whose horses, Sir Wattie, ridden by Ian Stark, won 2 silver medals at the 1988Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Among the early critics of Sir Walter Scott was Mark Twain, who blamed Sir Walter Scott’s “romanticisation of battle” for what he saw as the South’s decision to fight the American Civil War. Mark Twain’s ridiculing of chivalry in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, in which Mark Twain has the main character repeatedly utter “great Scott” as an oath, is considered as specifically targeting Sir Walter Scott’s books. Mark Twain also targeted Sir Walter Scott in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where he names a sinking boat the Walter Scott. 3 crooks drown on this wreck.

From being one of the most popular novelists of the 19th century, Sir Walter Scott suffered from a disastrous decline in popularity after the First World War. The tone was set early on in E.M. Forster’s classic “Aspects of the Novel” (1927), where Sir Walter Scott was savaged as being a clumsy writer who wrote slapdash, badly plotted novels. Sir Walter Scott also suffered from the rising star of Jane Austen.
Considered merely an entertaining “woman’s novelist” in the 19th century, in the
20th Jane Austen began to be seen as perhaps the major English novelist of the 1st few decades of the 19th century. As Jane Austen’s star rose, Sir Walter Scott’s sank, although, ironically, he had been one of the few male writers of his time to recognise Jane Austen’s genius.

Sir Walter Scott’s ponderousness and prolixity were fundamentally out of step with Modernist sensibilities. Nevertheless, Sir Walter Scott was responsible for 2 major trends that carry on to this day. 1st, he essentially invented the modern historical novel; an enormous number of imitators (and imitators of imitators) would appear in the 19th century. It is a measure of Sir Walter Scott’s influence that Edinburgh’s central railway station, opened in 1854 for the North British Railway, is called Waverley Station. 2nd, his Scottish novels followed on from James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle in rehabilitating the public perception of Highland culture after years in the shadows following southern distrust of hill bandits and the Jacobite rebellions. As enthusiastic chairman of the Celtic Society of Edinburgh he contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture. It is worth noting, however, that Sir Walter Scott was a Lowland Scot, and that his re-creations of the Highlands were more than a little fanciful. Sir Walter Scott’s organisation of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 was a pivotal event, leading Edinburgh tailors to invent many “clan tartans” out of whole cloth, so to speak. After being essentially unstudied for many decades, a small revival of interest in Sir Walter Scott’s work began in the 1970s and 1980s. Ironically, postmodern tastes (which favoured discontinuous narratives, and the introduction of the ‘first person’ into works of fiction) were more favourable to Sir Walter Scott’s work than Modernist tastes. Despite all the flaws, Sir Walter Scott is now seen as an important innovator, and a key figure in the development of Scottish and world literature.

Sir Walter Scott was also responsible, through a series of pseudonymous letters published in the Edinburgh Weekly News in 1826, for retaining the right of Scottish banks to issue their own banknotes, which is reflected to this day by his continued appearance on the front of all notes issued by the Bank of Scotland.

Many of his works were illustrated by his friend, William Allan.

In addition to Landseer, fine portraits of him were painted by fellow-Scots Sir Henry Raeburn and James Eckford Lauder.

Sir Walter Scott is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh.

Selections for Makars’ Court are made by The Writers’ Museum; The Saltire Society; The Scottish Poetry Library.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Harold MacGrath

Harold MacGrath was born on 4 September, 1871 and died on 30 October, 1932. Harold MacGrath was an American author, Harold MacGrath was a bestselling American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. In an article in the 23 April, 1932 issue of The Saturday Evening Post written under the title “The Short Autobiography of a Deaf Man,” Harold MacGrath told the public how he had struggled early in life as a result of a hearing impairment. At a time in history when deaf people were almost automatically considered as lacking intellectual acuity, he had hid this from his employer and others. Harold MacGrath’s success made him a very wealthy man and although he travelled the world extensively.

Harold McGrath is also known occasionally as Harold McGrath, he was born in Syracuse, New York. As a young man, he worked as a reporter and columnist on the Syracuse Herald newspaper until the late 1890s when he published his first novel, a romance titled “Arms and the Woman.” According to the New York Times, his next book, “The Puppet Crown,” was the No.7 bestselling book in the United States for all of 1901. From that point on, Harold MacGrath never looked back, writing novels for the mass market about love, adventure, mystery, spies, and the like at an average rate of more than one a year. Harold McGrath would have 3 more of his books that were among the top ten bestselling books of the year. At the same time, he penned a number of short stories for major American magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and Red Book magazine. Several of Harold MacGrath’s novels were serialized in these magazines and contributing to them was something he would continue to do until his death in 1932.

In 1912, Harold MacGrath became one of the first nationally-known authors to write directly for the movies when he was hired by the American Film Company to do the screenplay for a short film in the Western genre titled “The Vengeance That Failed.” Harold MacGrath had 18 of his 40 novels and 3 of his short stories made into films plus he wrote the story for another 4 motion pictures. 3 of his books were also made into Broadway plays. 1 of the many films made from Harold MacGrath’s writings was the 1913 serial The Adventures of Kathlyn starring Kathlyn Williams. While writing the 13 episodes he simultaneously wrote the book that was published immediately after the 29 December, 1913 premiere of the first episode of the serial so as to be in book stores during the screening of the entire 13 episodes.

Among Harold MacGrath’s short stories made into film was the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks Production Company’s feature-length adventure film The Mollycoddle based on Harold MacGrath’s short story with the same title that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1913. Directed by Victor Fleming, it starred Fairbanks, Ruth Renick, and Wallace Beery and was distributed through the newly created United Artists. It is said that during this same time, a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from the Harold MacGrath novel “The Drums of Jeopardy” which had also been published by The Saturday Evening Post in January of that year and which featured a Russian mad scientist character named “Boris Karlov.” The name “Boris Karlov” was used from Harold MacGrath’s book for the 1922 Broadway play, but by 1923 with actor Boris Karloff using the similar sounding variation, the film version renamed the character as “Gregor Karlov.”

Harold MacGrath’s success made him a very wealthy man and although he traveled the world extensively, Syracuse, New York was his home and it was there in 1912 that he built an English country-style mansion renowned for its landscaped gardens. In an article in the April 23, 1932 issue of The Saturday Evening Post written under the title “The Short Autobiography of a Deaf Man,” MacGrath told the public how he had struggled early in life as a result of a hearing impairment. At a time in history when deaf people were almost automatically considered as lacking intellectual acuity, he had hid this from his employer and others. Harold MacGrath died at his home in Syracuse a few months after the article was published.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend William James

William James was born on 11 January, 1842 at the Astor House in New York City, New York, USA and died on 26 August, 1910 of heart failure at his home in Chocorua, New Hampshire.

William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher trained as a medical doctor. William James wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism. William James was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James.

William James was the son of Henry James Sr., an independently wealthy and notoriously eccentric Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.

William James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as Horace Greeley, William Cullen Bryant, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Charles Peirce, Josiah Royce, George Santayana, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, Jr., James George Frazer, Henri Bergson, H. G. Wells, G. K. Chesterton, Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, and Carl Jung.

William James, with his younger brother Henry James (who became a prominent novelist) and sister Alice James (who is known for her posthumously published diary), received an eclectic trans-Atlantic education, developing fluency in both German and French languages along with a cosmopolitan character. William James’ family made 2 trips to Europe while he was still a child, setting a pattern that resulted in thirteen more European journeys during his life. William James’ early artistic bent led to an early apprenticeship in the studio of William Morris Hunt in Newport, Rhode Island, but yielded in 1861 to scientific studies at Harvard University’s Lawrence Scientific School.

In his early adulthood, William James suffered from a variety of physical ailments, including those of the eyes, back, stomach, and skin. William James was also subject to a variety of psychological symptoms which were diagnosed at the time as neurasthenia, and which included periods of depression during which he contemplated suicide for months on end. 2 younger brothers, Garth Wilkinson (Wilky) and Robertson (Bob), fought in the Civil War, but the other three siblings (William, Henry, and Alice) all suffered from periods of invalidism.

William James switched to medical studies at Harvard Medical School in 1864. William James took a break in the spring of 1865 to join Harvard’s Louis Agassiz on a scientific expedition up the Amazon River, but aborted his trip after eight months, having suffered bouts of severe seasickness and mild smallpox. William James’ studies were interrupted once again due to illness in April 1867. William James traveled to Germany in search of a cure and remained until November 1868. (During this period he began to publish, with reviews appearing in literary periodicals like the North American Review.) William James finally earned his M.D. degree in June 1869, but never practiced medicine. What he called his “soul-sickness” would only be resolved in 1872, after an extended period of philosophical searching. William James married Alice Gibbens in 1878.

William James’ time in Germany proved intellectually fertile, helping him find that his true interests lay not in medicine but in philosophy and psychology. Later, in 1902 he would write: “I originally studied medicine in order to be a physiologist, but I drifted into psychology and philosophy from a sort of fatality. I never had any philosophic instruction, the first lecture on psychology I ever heard being the first I ever gave”.

William James spent his entire academic career at Harvard. William James was appointed instructor in physiology for the spring 1873 term, instructor in anatomy and physiology in 1873, assistant professor of psychology in 1876, assistant professor of philosophy in 1881, full professor in 1885, endowed chair in psychology in 1889, return to philosophy in 1897, and emeritus professor of philosophy in 1907.

William James studied medicine, physiology, and biology, and began to teach in those subjects, but was drawn to the scientific study of the human mind at a time when psychology was constituting itself as a science. William James’s acquaintance with the work of figures like Hermann Helmholtz in Germany and Pierre Janet in France facilitated his introduction of courses in scientific psychology at Harvard University. William James taught his first experimental psychology course at Harvard in the 1875-1876 academic year.

During his Harvard years, William James joined in philosophical discussions with Charles Peirce, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Chauncey Wright that evolved into a lively group known as the Metaphysical Club by the early 1870s. Louis Menand speculates that the Club provided a foundation for American intellectual thought for decades to come.

Among William James’ students at Harvard were such luminaries as Boris Sidis, Theodore Roosevelt, George Santayana, W.E.B. Du Bois, G. Stanley Hall, Ralph Barton Perry, Gertrude Stein, Horace Kallen, Morris Raphael Cohen, Alain Locke, C. I. Lewis, and Mary Calkins.

Following his January, 1907 retirement from Harvard, William James continued to write and lecture, publishing Pragmatism, A Pluralistic Universe, and The Meaning of Truth. William James was increasingly afflicted with cardiac pain during his last years. It worsened in 1909 while he worked on a philosophy text (unfinished but posthumously published as Some Problems in Philosophy). William James sailed to Europe in the spring of 1910 to take experimental treatments which proved unsuccessful, and returned home on August 18.

William James was one of the strongest proponents of the school of Functionalism in psychology and of Pragmatism in philosophy. William James was a founder of the American Society for Psychical Research, as well as a champion of alternative approaches to healing. William James challenged his professional colleagues not to let a narrow mindset prevent an honest appraisal of those phenomena.

In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al using 6 criteria such as citations and recognition, William James was found to be the 14th most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century.

William James wrote voluminously throughout his life. A fairly complete bibliography of his writings by John McDermott is 47 pages long.

William James gained widespread recognition with his monumental Principles of Psychology (1890), 1200 pages in 2 volumes which took 12 years to complete. Psychology: The Briefer Course, was an 1892 abridgement designed as a less rigorous introduction to the field. These works criticized both the English associationist school and the Hegelianism of his day as competing dogmatisms of little explanatory value, and sought to re-conceive of the human mind as inherently purposive and selective.

William James defined true beliefs as those that prove useful to the believer. Truth, he said, is that which works in the way of belief. “True ideas lead us into useful verbal and conceptual quarters as well as directly up to useful sensible termini. They lead to consistency, stability and flowing human intercourse ” but ” all true processes must lead to the face of directly verifying sensible experiences somewhere,” he wrote.

William James’ assertion that the value of a truth depends upon its use to the individual who holds it is known as pragmatism. Additional tenets of William James’ pragmatism include the view that the world is a mosaic of diverse experiences that can only be properly understood through an application of “radical empiricism.” Radical empiricism, distinct from everyday scientific empiricism, presumes that nature and experience can never be frozen for absolutely objective analysis, that, at the very least, the mind of the observer will affect the outcome of any empirical approach to truth since, empirically, the mind and nature are inseparable. William James’ emphasis on diversity as the default human condition — over and against duality, especially Hegelian dialectical duality — has maintained a strong influence in American culture, especially among liberals, and his radical empiricism lies in the background of contemporary relativism. William James’ description of the mind-world connection, which he described in terms of a “stream of consciousness,” had a direct and significant impact on avant-garde and modernist literature and art.

In What Pragmatism Means, William James writes that the central point of his own doctrine of truth is, in brief, that “truth is one species of good, and not, as is usually supposed, a category distinct from good, and coordinate with it. Truth is the name of whatever proves itself to be good in the way of belief, and good, too, for definite, assignable reasons.” Richard Rorty claims that James did not mean to give a theory of truth with this statement and that we should not regard it as such. However, other pragmatism scholars such as Susan Haack and Howard Mounce do not share Rorty’s instrumentalist interpretation of William James.

In The Meaning of Truth, William James speaks of truth in relativistic terms: “The critic’s [sc., the critic of pragmatism] trouble…seems to come from his taking the word ‘true’ irrelatively, whereas the pragmatist always means ‘true for him who experiences the workings.’ ”

William James went on to apply the pragmatic method to the epistemological problem of truth. William James would seek the meaning of ‘true’ by examining how the idea functioned in our lives. A belief was true, he said, if in the long run it worked for all of us, and guided us expeditiously through our semihospitable world. William James was anxious to uncover what true beliefs amounted to in human life, what their “Cash Value” was, what consequences they led to. A belief was not a mental entity which somehow mysteriously corresponded to an external reality if the belief were true. Beliefs were ways of acting with reference to a precarious environment, and to say they were true was to say they guided us satisfactorily in this environment. In this sense the pragmatic theory of truth applied Darwinian ideas in philosophy; it made survival the test of intellectual as well as biological fitness. If what was true was what worked, we can scientifically investigate religion’s claim to truth in the same manner. The enduring quality of religious beliefs throughout recorded history and in all cultures gave indirect support for the view that such beliefs worked. William James also argued directly that such beliefs were satisfying — they enabled us to lead fuller, richer lives and were more viable than their alternatives. Religious beliefs were expedient in human existence, just as scientific beliefs were.

Will to Believe Doctrine
Main article: Will to Believe Doctrine
In William James’s lecture of 1897 titled “The Will to Believe,” William James defends the right to violate the principle of evidentialism in order to justify hypothesis venturing. Although this doctrine is often seen as a way for William James to justify religious beliefs, his philosophy of pragmatism allows him to use the results of his hypothetical venturing as evidence to support the hypothesis’ truth. Therefore, this doctrine allows one to assume belief in God and prove its existence by what the belief brings to one’s life.

William James did important work in philosophy of religion. In his Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh he provided a wide-ranging account of The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) and interpreted them according to his pragmatic leanings. Some of the important claims he makes in this regard:

Religious genius (experience) should be the primary topic in the study of religion, rather than religious institutions—since institutions are merely the social descendant of genius.

The intense, even pathological varieties of experience (religious or otherwise) should be sought by psychologists, because they represent the closest thing to a microscope of the mind—that is, they show us in drastically enlarged form the normal processes of things.

In order to usefully interpret the realm of common, shared experience and history, we must each make certain “over-beliefs” in things which, while they cannot be proven on the basis of experience, help us to live fuller and better lives.

The investigation of mystical experience was constant throughout the life of William James, leading him to experiment with chloral hydrate (1870), amyl nitrite (1875), nitrous oxide (1882), and even peyote (1896). William James claimed that it was only when he was under the influence of nitrous oxide that he was able to understand Hegel. William James concluded that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others, they are certainly ideas to be considered, but can hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such.

William James is one of the 2 namesakes of the William James-Lange theory of emotion, which he formulated independently of Carl Lange in the 1880s. The theory holds that emotion is the mind’s perception of physiological conditions that result from some stimulus. In William James’ oft-cited example; it is not that we see a bear, fear it, and run. We see a bear and run, consequently we fear the bear. Our mind’s perception of the higher adrenaline level, heartbeat, etc., is the emotion.

This way of thinking about emotion has great consequences for the philosophy of aesthetics. Here is a passage from his great work, Principles of Psychology, that spells out those consequences.

We must immediately insist that aesthetic emotion, pure and simple, the pleasure given us by certain lines and masses, and combinations of colors and sounds, is an absolutely sensational experience, an optical or auricular feeling that is primary, and not due to the repercussion backwards of other sensations elsewhere consecutively aroused. To this simple primary and immediate pleasure in certain pure sensations and harmonious combinations of them, there may, it is true, be added secondary pleasures; and in the practical enjoyment of works of art by the masses of mankind these secondary pleasures play a great part. The more classic one’s taste is, however, the less relatively important are the secondary pleasures felt to be, in comparison with those of the primary sensation as it comes in. Classicism and romanticism have their battles over this point. Complex suggestiveness, the awakening of vistas of memory and association, and the stirring of our flesh with picturesque mystery and gloom, make a work of art romantic. The classic taste brands these effects as coarse and tawdry, and prefers the naked beauty of the optical and auditory sensations, unadorned with frippery or foliage. To the romantic mind, on the contrary, the immediate beauty of these sensations seems dry and thin. I am of course not discussing which view is right, but only showing that the discrimination between the primary feeling of beauty, as a pure incoming sensible quality, and the secondary emotions which are grafted thereupon, is one that must be made.

Why do we run away if we notice that we are in danger? Because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t. This obvious (and incorrect) answer to a seemingly trivial question has been the central concern of a century-old debate about the nature of our emotions.

It all began in 1884 when William James published an article titled “What Is an Emotion?” The article appeared in a philosophy journal called Mind, as there were no psychology journals yet. It was important, not because it definitively answered the question it raised, but because of the way in which William James phrased his response. William James conceived of an emotion in terms of a sequence of events that starts with the occurrence of an arousing stimulus {the sympathetic nervous system or the parasympathetic nervous system}; and ends with a passionate feeling, a conscious emotional experience. A major goal of emotion research is still to elucidate this stimulus-to-feeling sequence—to figure out what processes come between the stimulus and the feeling.

William James set out to answer his question by asking another: do we run from a bear because we are afraid or are we afraid because we run? William James proposed that the obvious answer, that we run because we are afraid, was wrong, and instead argued that we are afraid because we run:
Our natural way of thinking about… emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My thesis on the contrary is that the bodily changes follow directly the PERCEPTION of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion (called ‘feeling’ by Damasio).

The essence of William James’ proposal was simple. It was premised on the fact that emotions are often accompanied by bodily responses (racing heart, tight stomach, sweaty palms, tense muscles, and so on; sympathetic nervous system) and that we can sense what is going on inside our body much the same as we can sense what is going on in the outside world. According to William James, emotions feel different from other states of mind because they have these bodily responses that give rise to internal sensations, and different emotions feel different from one another because they are accompanied by different bodily responses and sensations. For example, when we see William James’ bear, we run away. During this act of escape, the body goes through a physiological upheaval: blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, pupils dilate, palms sweat, muscles contract in certain ways (evolutionary, innate defense mechanisms). Other kinds of emotional situations will result in different bodily upheavals. In each case, the physiological responses return to the brain in the form of bodily sensations, and the unique pattern of sensory feedback gives each emotion its unique quality. Fear feels different from anger or love because it has a different physiological signature {the parasympathetic nervous system for love}. The mental aspect of emotion, the feeling, is a slave to its physiology, not vice versa: we do not tremble because we are afraid or cry because we feel sad; we are afraid because we tremble and are sad because we cry.

One of the long-standing schisms in the philosophy of history concerns the role of individuals in social change.

One faction sees individuals (“heroes” as Thomas Carlyle called them) as the motive power of history, and the broader society as the page on which they write their acts. The other sees society as moving according to holistic principles or laws, and sees individuals as its more-or-less willing pawns. In 1880, William James waded into this controversy with “Great Men and Their Environment,” an essay published in the Atlantic Monthly. William James took Carlyle’s side, but without Carlyle’s one-sided emphasis on the political/military sphere, upon heroes as the founders or overthrowers of states and empires.

“Rembrandt must teach us to enjoy the struggle of light with darkness,” William James wrote. “Wagner to enjoy peculiar musical effects; Dickens gives a twist to our sentimentality, Artemus Ward to our humor; Emerson kindles a new moral light within us.”

In 1909 William James published Expériences d’un Psychiste, a book which he relates many experiments that he had with the medium Leonora Piper. William James’ first commentary about Piper, however, was published in Science:

In the trances of this medium, I cannot resist the conviction that knowledge appears which she has never gained by the ordinary waking use of her eyes and ears and wits.

William James gave more detailed informations about his first experiments with Piper in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research:

I made Mrs. Piper’s acquaintance in the autumn of 1885. My wife’s mother, Mrs. Gibbens, had been told of her by a friend, during the previous summer, and never having seen a medium before, had paid her a visit out of curiosity. Mrs Piper returned with the statement that Mrs. P. had given her a long string of names of members of the family, mostly Christian names, together with facts about the persons mentioned and their relations to each other, the knowledge of which on her part was incomprehensible without supernormal powers. My sister-in-law went the next day, with still better results, as she related them. Amongst other things, the medium had accurately described the circumstances of the writer of a letter which she held against her forehead, after Miss G. had given it to her. The letter was in Italian, and its writer was known to but 2 persons in this country. [I may add that on a later occasion my wife and I took another letter from this same person to Mrs. P., who went on to speak of him in a way which identified him unmistakably again. On a third occasion, 2 years later, my sister-in-law and I being again with Mrs. P., she reverted in her trance to these letters, and then gave us the writer’s name, which she said she had not been able to get on the former occasion.] But to revert to the beginning. I remember playing the esprit fort on that occasion before my feminine relatives, and seeking to explain, by simple considerations the marvellous character of the facts which they brought back. This did not, however, prevent me from going myself a few days later, in company with my wife, to get a direct personal impression. The names of none of us up to this meeting had been announced to Mrs. P., and Mrs. J. and I were, of course, careful to make no reference to our relatives who had preceded. The medium, however, when entranced, repeated most of the names of ” spirits” whom she had announced on the 2 former occasions and added others. The names came with difficulty, and were only gradually made perfect. My wife’s father’s name of Gibbens was announced first as Niblin, then as Giblin. A child Herman (whom we had lost the previous year) had his name spelt out as Herrin. I think that in no case were both Christian and surnames given on this visit. But the facts predicated of the persons named made it in many instances impossible not to recognise the particular individuals who were talked about. We took particular pains on this occasion to give the Phinuit control no help over his difficulties and to ask no leading questions. In the light of subsequent experience I believe this not to be the best policy. For it often happens, if you give this trance-personage a name or some small fact for the lack of which he is brought to a standstill, that he will then start off with a copious flow of additional talk, containing in itself an abundance of ” tests.” My impression after this first visit was, that Mrs. P. was either possessed of supernormal powers, or knew the members of my wife’s family by sight and had by some lucky coincidence become acquainted with such a multitude of their domestic circumstances as to produce the startling impression which she did. My later knowledge of her sittings and personal acquaintance with her has led me absolutely to reject the latter explanation, and to believe that she has supernormal powers.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Stephen Joseph Cannell

Stephen Joseph Cannell was born on 5 February, 1941. Stephen is an American television producer, writer, novelist, and occasional actor. Stephen struggled with dyslexia in school, but did graduate from the University of Oregon in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. At UO, he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. Stephen has also acted occasionally, including a regular supporting role as “Dutch” Dixon on his series, Renegade. Stephen also took a turn in an episode of Silk Stalkings.

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Dyslexia Series-Disabled Legend Gustave Flaubert

Gustave Flaubert was born on 12 December, 1821 and died on 8 May, 1880. Gustave was a French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists. Gustave is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style. Flaubert was a tireless worker and often complained in his letters to friends about the strenuous nature of his work.

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