Ken Kesey

ken kesey

Before becoming a “founding father of the 1960s counterculture” (OHS), Ken Kesey of Oregon studied journalism and creative writing at the University of Oregon and Stanford University. The turning point of his career, however, was when he participated in studies for the US military of LSD and other hallucinogens. Experiences with these drugs not only changed his outlook on life, they inspired his writing. His novels of the early 60s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) and Sometimes a Great Notion (1964) highlighted his personal struggles to find a sense of self and freedom; and to do this, he turned to psychedelic drugs. Throughout the early 60s, he and his group the Merry Pranksters traveled the country in the colorful school bus called “Further” with other members of the Beat Generation until Kesey was arrested in 1965 for drug use. After serving six months, Ken settled down with his family to live out the rest of his life somewhat peacefully. He continued to publish works, and in 1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest became an award-winning film. He even spent a few years as a writing professor at the University of Oregon. He lived out his life away from the Beat movement until he died in 2001.

~Kendall Reasons




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