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  1. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jack Kerouac - Big Sur

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Gannon, Jan 19, 2008.

    This is an intriguing account of several months of Kerouac's Beat existence. Beat shortened from beatnik as far as I can tell appears to be code for literary hedonism: the full pursuit of being free and living as greats have done in the past in excess. This is an unashamedly autobiographical affair which references Kerouac's famous work On The Road thus placing the autobiograpy in reality. Where the interst lies is in Kerouac's sanity's demise. In excess it is said that the author Kerouc kills the person Kerouac and this struggle is played out in city revelling and wild remorse.

    The style is as On The Road, a wide-eyed, breathless, stream of conscious, meandering, anecdotal approach to writing. This is the strength of the piece, his writing is infectious though at time meanderingly infuriating as we skip from excess to excess, and surreal anecdote to anecdote - in fact the style is reminscent of the Surrealists, arguably a Beat generation a couple of decades too early. The autobiography melds well when read as a whole and not disjointedly with the Kerouac wrestling with his sanity in the pieces dark imagery and rhetoric to form a book that could stand alone, away from the autobiography if only the author Kerouac was a character rather than the subject. Fascinating breakdown of mind and ideal. Recommended but only for the adventurous.
     
  2. andycerrone
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    andycerrone Member

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    Kerouac is an incredible writer. His ability to write in his free-thought stream-of-consciousness way has separated him from most writers, and his experiences through life have separated him from much of the Beat generation. He grew up bi-lingual, and was incredibly intelligent. I love reading him on a rainy day with some tea. There's nothing better. Great book(s).
     

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