The Jim Morrison Reading Challenge

Jim Morrison was most notably known as the talented and skilled lead singer of The Doors, a rock band formed in the ‘60s known for their transcendentalist and mystic lyrics. He took the themes and philosophical concepts of his favorite authors and transformed their messages into the poetic and psychedelic songs notorious of the band.

The band’s name, The Doors, originated from Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception which is referencing William Blake’s religious satire The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” The ‘doors’ allude to the significant reality of what we perceive as opposed to our usual blindness influenced by superficiality. This alone illuminates the philosophical importance Jim Morrison chose to bestow upon the band—emphasizing the sentiment of more deeply understanding the world we live in.

Morrison was a fervent fan of the Beat Generation—a literary movement of writers, such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, that sought to influence the social and political culture of post-WWII America. Of this subculture’s literature, Morrison most favored Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, a novel that questioned the validity and extent of discovery and freedom. The road to enlightenment and the romanticizing of self-discovery have become staples of The Door’s music, and this seems to be a direct influence of such Beat Generation literature.

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