Marc wrote:
Maybe Kerouac was opposed to the forces that had led to that kind of constricted feeling about writing, oooh so upTIGHT. Maybe the world needed a break.

Al replied:
I agree. This was the great rhetorical contribution to modern poetry provided by the Beats. The used the rhetoric of freedom from formal constraint. But they did not recognize, I think, that the rhetoric of freedom is not free of rhetoric, that a style that speaks of getting beyond the trappings of style (an organization of words according to a set of rules [rules about no rules]) is still a style. A rule-eschewing language is still a language with rules. There's no escaping the fact of language as a medium. It mediates between the subject (the location of subjectivity - the poet) and the world. In a theoretical sense, the language must always to some degree "get in the way" of presenting reality. Ashbery and Frank O'Hara, working in the same period, recognized this, while Kerouac and Ginsberg did not. Make sense?