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Encyclopedia > Ken Kesey
KEN KESEY

Born: September 17, 1935(1935-09-17)
La Junta, Colorado
Died: November 10, 2001 (aged 66)
Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Occupation: Novelist
Nationality: United States

Kenneth Elton Kesey (September 17, 1935November 10, 2001) was an American author, best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and as a counter-cultural figure who, some consider, was a link between the "beat generation" of the 1950s and the "hippies" of the 1960s. "I was too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie," Kesey said in a 1999 interview with Robert K. Elder. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 555 pixel Image in higher resolution (2399 × 1664 pixel, file size: 1. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Santa Fe Railroad car at the La Junta Depot (Photo ©2004 Wyvonne Phillips) La Junta is a city in Otero County, Colorado, United States. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Pleasant Hill is an unincorporated place located in Lane County, Oregon. ... For the album by the Kaiser Chiefs see Employment (album) Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... In English usage, nationality is the legal relationship between a person and a country. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Authorship redirects here. ... One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. ... The Beat Generation was a group of American writers who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. ... Singer at a modern Hippie movement in Russia Hippie (sometimes spelled hippy) refers to a member of a subgroup of the counterculture that began in the United States during the early 1960s, becoming an established social group by 1965, and expanding to other countries before declining in the mid-1970s. ... Beatnik is a media stereotype that borrowed the most superficial aspects of the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s to present a distorted (and sometimes violent), cartoon-like misrepresentation of the real-life people and the spirituality found in Jack Kerouacs autobiographical fiction. ... Robert K. Elder writes about film and pop culture for the Chicago Tribune. ...

Contents

Early life

Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado to Edward and Dulce Kesey.[citation needed] Later he moved with his family to Springfield, Oregon. A champion wrestler in both high school and college, he eloped with his high-school sweetheart, Faye Haxby, between high school graduation and starting college at Oregon. They had three children, Jed, Zane, and Shannon. Kesey had another child, Sunshine, in 1966 with fellow Merry Prankster Carolyn Adams.[1] Kesey attended the University of Oregon's School of Journalism, where he received a degree in speech and communication in 1957. He was awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship in 1958 to enroll in the creative writing program at Stanford University, which he did the following year. While at Stanford, he studied under Wallace Stegner and began the manuscript that would become One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Santa Fe Railroad car at the La Junta Depot (Photo ©2004 Wyvonne Phillips) La Junta is a city in Otero County, Colorado, United States. ... Location in Oregon Coordinates: , County Lane County Incorporated 1885 Government  - Mayor Sid Leiken Area  - City 37. ... FILA Greatest Wrestler of 20th Century (Greco-Roman) Alexander Karelin throws Olympian Jeff Blatnick with his Karelin Lift Womens wrestling Andrell Durden (top) and Edward Harris grapple for position during the All-Marine Wrestle Offs. ... The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Mountain Girl, also known as Carolyn Adams, was a Merry Prankster and the wife of Jerry Garcia. ... The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. ... “Stanford” redirects here. ... Wallace Earle Stegner (February 18, 1909—April 13, 1993) was an American historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist. ... One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest can refer to: One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (novel), a 1962 fiction novel by Ken Kesey One Attempted to Fly Over the Cuckoos Nest But Didnt Give Himself Enough Clearing Room, (film), a 1975 film adaptation of the novel One...


Experimentation with psychoactive drugs

At Stanford in 1959, Kesey volunteered to take part in a CIA-financed study named Project MKULTRA at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital on the effects of psychoactive drugs, particularly LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT. Kesey wrote many detailed accounts of his experiences with these drugs, both during the Project MKULTRA study and in the years of private experimentation that followed. His role as a medical guinea pig inspired Kesey to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1962. The success of this book, as well as the sale of his residence at Stanford, allowed him to move to La Honda, California, in the mountains south of San Francisco. He frequently entertained friends and many others with parties he called "Acid Tests" involving music (such as Kesey's favorite band, The Warlocks, later known as the Grateful Dead), black lights, fluorescent paint, strobes, and other "psychedelic" effects, and of course LSD. These parties were noted in some of Allen Ginsberg's poems and are also described in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, as well as Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson. Declassified MKULTRA documents Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a CIA mind-control research program that began in 1950[1] [2]. There is much published evidence that the project involved the use of many types of drugs to manipulate peoples mental states and to alter brain... Menlo Park is a city in San Mateo County, California in the United States of America. ... The general group of pharmacological agents commonly known as hallucinogens can be divided into three broad categories: psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants. ... Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid. ... Psilocybin (also known as psilocybine) is a psychedelic alkaloid of the tryptamine family, found in psilocybin mushrooms. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), also known as N,N-dimethyltryptamine, is a psychedelic tryptamine. ... Declassified MKULTRA documents Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a CIA mind-control research program that began in 1950[1] [2]. There is much published evidence that the project involved the use of many types of drugs to manipulate peoples mental states and to alter brain... Binomial name Cavia porcellus (Linnaeus, 1758) Guinea pigs (also called cavies) are rodents belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia, originally indigenous to the Andes. ... La Honda is a small California town located in the Santa Cruz Mountains between Silicon Valley and the Pacific coast. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... The Acid Tests were a series of psychedelic parties held by Ken Kesey in the San Francisco Bay Area during the early 1960s, centered entirely around the use, experimentation, and advocacy of LSD, also known as acid. ... Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco, California. ... Spectrum of a fluorescent black light source. ... An animation illustrating the effect of strobe light A strobe light or stroboscopic lamp, commonly called a strobe, is a device used to produce regular flashes of light. ... For psychedelics, see psychedelic drug. ... Irwin Allen Ginsberg (IPA: ) (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet. ... Thomas Kennerly Wolfe (born March 2, 1931 in Richmond, Virginia), known as Tom Wolfe, is a best-selling American author and journalist. ... The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a literary journalism novel written by Tom Wolfe early in his career in 1968. ... Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. ...


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

The inspiration for Kesey's first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, came from his work at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital on the night shift. There, Kesey often spent time talking to the patients, sometimes under the influence of the hallucinogenic drugs with which he had volunteered to experiment. Kesey believed that these patients were not insane, but that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was an immediate success. It was later adapted into a successful stage play by Dale Wasserman; Miloš Forman directed a screen adaptation in 1975. The film starred Jack Nicholson and won the "Big Five" Academy Awards: Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award for Best Actor (Nicholson), Academy Award for Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Academy Award for Best Director (Forman), Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman). Kesey, who was originally involved in creating the film, left two weeks into production. He claimed to have never seen the movie because of a dispute over the $20,000 he was initially paid for the film rights. Kesey loathed the fact that the film was not narrated, as the book was, by the character Chief Bromden, and disagreed with the casting of Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy (he wanted Gene Hackman). Despite this, Faye Kesey has stated that he was generally supportive of the film and pleased that it was made. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. ... Menlo Park is a city in San Mateo County, California in the United States of America. ... Inmates at Bedlam Asylum, as portrayed by William Hogarth Insanity, or madness, is a semi-permanent, severe mental disorder typically stemming from a form of mental illness. ... Jan Tomáš Forman (born February 18, 1932), better known as MiloÅ¡ Forman, is a film director, actor, screenwriter and professor. ... One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is a 1975 film directed by MiloÅ¡ Forman. ... Nicholson as Wilbur Force in The Little Shop of Horrors (1960). ... // The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Academy Awards, awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which are voted on by others within the industry. ... The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the awards given to actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the awards given to actresses working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... Louise Fletcher as Winn Adami on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Louise Fletcher (born July 22, 1934) is an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... The Academy Award for Directing is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; the awards are voted on by other people within the industry. ... The Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. ...


Merry Pranksters

When the publication of his second novel Sometimes a Great Notion in 1964 required his presence in New York, Kesey, Neal Cassady, and others in a group of friends they called the "Merry Pranksters" took a cross-country trip in a school bus nicknamed "Furthur" or Further. [1] This trip, described in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (and later in Kesey's own screenplay "The Further Inquiry") was the group's attempt to create art out of everyday life. In New York, Cassady introduced Kesey to Jack Kerouac and to Allen Ginsberg, who in turn introduced them to Timothy Leary. Sometimes a Great Notion was made into a 1971 film starring Paul Newman and was nominated for two Academy Awards. (In 1972, Sometimes a Great Notion was the first film shown in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on a new television network called HBO.) Sometimes a Great Notion is a 1964 novel by Ken Kesey. ... Neal Cassady, left, with Jack Kerouac, photograph by Carolyn Cassady. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Inside the bus, psychedelic and trippy paintings Furthur was a 1939 International Harvester school bus purchased by author Ken Kesey in 1964, for $1,250 from Andre Hobson in Atherton, California. ... The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a literary journalism novel written by Tom Wolfe early in his career in 1968. ... Jack Kerouac (pronounced ) (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. ... Irwin Allen Ginsberg (IPA: ) (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet. ... For the American baseball player use Tim Leary (baseball player) Timothy Francis Leary, (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. ... Sometimes A Great Notion was a 1971 film, starring Paul Newman and Henry Fonda, and featuring Richard Jaeckel in his Oscar nominated role. ... Paul Leonard Newman (born January 26, 1925) is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Cannes Award, and Emmy Award-winning American actor and film director. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... Wilkes-Barre (IPA: , , or [1]) is the central city of the Wyoming Valley and county seat of Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania. ... A television network is a distribution network for television content whereby a central operation provides programming for many television stations. ... HBO (Home Box Office) is a premium cable television network with headquarters in New York City. ...


Later life

Kesey was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1966. In an attempt to mislead police, he faked his own suicide by having friends leave the Merry Pranksters' truck on a cliffside road near Eureka, along with a suicide note that said, "Ocean, Ocean I'll beat you in the end." Kesey fled to Mexico in the back of a friend's car. When he later returned to the United States, Kesey was arrested and sent to jail for five months. On his release, he moved back to the family farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon in the Willamette Valley, where he was to spend the rest of his life. He wrote many articles, books (mostly collections of his articles), and short stories during that time.
Cannabis (also known as marijuana[1] or ganja[2] in its herbal form and hashish in its resinous form[3]) is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa L. subsp. ... Eureka (or Heureka; Greek ) is a famous exclamation attributed to Archimedes, see: Eureka (word). ... Pleasant Hill is an unincorporated place located in Lane County, Oregon. ... The Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley The Willamette Valley is the region in northwest Oregon in the United States that surrounds the Willamette River as it proceeds northward from its emergence from mountains near Eugene to its confluence with the Columbia River. ...


Twister

In 1994 he toured with the Merry Pranksters performing a musical play he wrote about the millennium called Twister: A Ritual Reality. Many old and new friends and family showed up to support the Pranksters on this tour that took them from Seattle's Bumbershoot, all along the West Coast including a sold out two-night run at The Fillmore in San Francisco to Boulder, Colorado, where they coaxed (or pranked) the Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg into performing with them. Kesey, always a friend to musicians since his days of the Acid Test, enlisted the band Jambay, one of the original bands of the jam band genre, to be his "pit orchestra." Jambay played an acoustic set before each Twister performance and an electric set after each show. While the show was critically panned,[citation needed] Kesey was still pushing the boundaries of performance art that included large scale multi-media, music, and audience participation. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up bumbershoot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Fillmore (also known as the Fillmore Auditorium or, for several years, The Elite Club), is a historic music venue in San Francisco, California made famous by Bill Graham (1931–1991). ... “San Francisco” redirects here. ... The City of Boulder ( , Mountain Time Zone) is a home rule municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. ... Irwin Allen Ginsberg (IPA: ) (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet. ... The term jam band is commonly used to describe psychedelic rock-influenced bands whose concerts largely consist of bands reinterpreting their songs as springboards into extended improvisational pieces of music. ...


Final years

Kesey mainly kept to his home life in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, preferring to make artistic contributions on the Internet, or holding ritualistic revivals in the spirit of the Acid Test. He occasionally made appearances at rock concerts and festivals, bringing the second bus "Furthur2" and the pranksters with him. Most notably, he appeared at the Hog Farm in Laytonville, California for Woodstock M.C. Wavy Gravy's Hog Farm Family Pig-Nic Festival, where atop "Further2," they canonized a very ill, but still quite aware Dr. Timothy Leary. He also performed on stage with Jambay at the Pig-Nic, playing a few songs from Twister with members of the original cast. Pleasant Hill is an unincorporated place located in Lane County, Oregon. ... Laytonville is a census-designated place located in Mendocino County, California. ... Wavy Gravy (born Hugh Romney on May 15, 1936) is a life-long activist for peace and personal empowerment, best known for his hippie appearance, personality, and beliefs. ... For the American baseball player use Tim Leary (baseball player) Timothy Francis Leary, (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. ...


In 1984, Kesey's son Jed, a wrestler for the University of Oregon, was killed in a van crash on the way to a wrestling tournament.[citation needed] It deeply affected Kesey, who later said Jed was a victim of conservative, anti-government policy that starved the team of proper funding.[citation needed] The tires of the van were bald.[citation needed] There is a memorial dedicated to Jed on the top of Mount Pisgah, which is near the Keseys' home in Pleasant Hill. Sign at base of Mount Pisgah Mount Pisgah is a hill in Lane County, Oregon, United States, rising 1060 feet above the surrounding Willamette Valley to a maximum elevation of 1531 feet. ...


In 1997, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters appeared at a Phish concert during a performance of the song "Colonel Forbin's Ascent." This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the band. ...


His last major work was an essay for Rolling Stone magazine calling for peace after 9-11. A sequential look at United Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11—pronounced nine eleven or nine one one) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist[1] suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly...


Kesey died on November 10, 2001 following an operation for liver cancer. is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...


List of major works

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1962) is a novel written by Ken Kesey. ... Sometimes a Great Notion is a 1964 novel by Ken Kesey. ... Gordon Jay Lish (born February 11, 1934 in Hewlett, New York) is an American writer. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... University of Oregon Press, or UO Press is an American university press that is part of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. ... University of Oregon Press, or UO Press is an American university press that is part of the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. ... Sailor Song is a novel written by Ken Kesey. ... Twister may mean: the game Twister the movie Twister a slang word for a tornado a tongue twister, something difficult to pronounce The name of a roller coaster in Knoebels amusement park in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. ...

Movies made about Ken Kesey

Neal Cassady, left, with Jack Kerouac, photograph by Carolyn Cassady. ... Tate Donovan (born September 25, 1963) is an American actor. ... Mark Christopher Bauer (born October 28, 1966) is an American film and television actor. ...

Notes

References

  • McNally, Dennis (2002). A Long Strange Trip: the Inside History of the Grateful Dead. Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1186-5. 
  • Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hc); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (pbk)

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Ken Kesey
Persondata
NAME Kesey, Ken Elton
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION novelist
DATE OF BIRTH September 17, 1935(1935-09-17)
PLACE OF BIRTH La Junta, Colorado, United States
DATE OF DEATH November 10, 2001
PLACE OF DEATH Pleasant Hill, Oregon

  Results from FactBites:
 
GradeSaver: ClassicNote: Biography of Ken Kesey (604 words)
Ken Kesey, the youngest of two sons, was born in on September 17, 1935 in La Junta, Colorado and in 1946 moved with his family to Springfield, Oregon, where he spent several years on his family's farm.
Kesey recruited Neal Cassady from Kerouac's On the Road to drive the bus, and filmed a significant portion of the journey; Kesey would later show clips from the trip to chemically-induced audiences at his parties.
Kesey's exploits with the Merry Pranksters during this period formed the basis for a best-selling book by Tom Wolfe (A Man in Full, The Bonfire of the Vanities) called The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
Erowid Ken Kesey Vault (320 words)
Ken Kesey was a writer, born in La Junta, Colorado.
Ken Kesey stood as a transition between the Beat Generation of the 50s and the Hippies of the 60s.
Ken Kesey Interview by Mary Jane Fenex and Matthew Rick
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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