40 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This book may come as a real shock to those whom have a preconcieved notion about what the "Beats" were all about, and it may also be a shock for those more familiar with the jubilant ecstatic life affirmations of On The Road or even The Dharma Bums.
In this book Jack goes on the road (with Mom), has sex with a fourteen year old mexican prostitute, meets up with a Neal (Cody) whom is a far fly from his On the Road days and is tied down with a wife + three kids and a job, meets Salidore Dali + William Carlos WIlliams + Carl Sandburg, gets his book published, is constantly compulsively depressed, has a paradigmatic consciousness flip after a huge dose of opium, meets up with junkie Burroughs in Tangiers (whom is lovelorn over Ginsburg), and kicks Buddhism down a notch for a more hardcore return to Christianity.
As others have noted, this book follows directly after the Dharma Bums and that book should be read first. What follows is Jack's experiences on the mountain which, contrary to his expectations in Dharma Bums, is almost like a nightmare prison sentence.
After he leaves the mountain, we enter into the first half of the book (his return to California), which is a bit ponderous and slow (but never boring). We are treated to a tortureous description of his day of betting at a race track with Neal and Corso.
The book picks up speed bigtime when he goes back on the road and then travels internationally.
His prose is brilliant and poetic and his observations remarkable and I think this book is brilliant; but it is also tremendously sad, deeply frusterated and lost, spiritually drained and destitute, and there is little ecstacy to be had. By the end of the book, and with the return of his compulsive obsession with Christianity, one can really sense the beginning of his psychosis and alcoholism and mommy obsession which would spell his death by age fourty seven.
I'm not sure to whom this book should be recommended- for I'm not sure whom would care about this descent of an icon for joy. It should definetly be read by those whom have read On the Road and the Dharma Bums, but also by those whom think that the counter cultural movements were all done by joy seeking thrill addicts without a care in the world. After reading this book, it would seem that caring is something that was not is short supply amongst these bands of fellow travelers on the way.
Also, those whom felt that the beats were all leftist radicals, anarchists and communists would be very suprised to read in this book that Jack almost seems like a rightist in many regards. He reads a book on the atrocities of communism on the mountain, he constantly is remarking about totalitarian regimes (in particular- Russia), brings up Mao (at a time when some on the left felt he may have been a hero and the crimes against "reactionaries" hadn't yet come into light) and Castro (while others went off to visit Cuba jack said "I'm not concerned with the Cuban Revolution, I'm concerned with the American Revolution.") and even Zapata is discussed in negative diatribes. He was also a fan of Ike. He spends far more time bitching about leftist than he does about rightists. He also has some special scorn put aside for the common hipster, the mass of "beats" whom came after.
Very moving, sad, beautiful, profound, funny, poetic- a treasure from a real man at the start of his turn into a caricature by the mass media. By the end, when he drags his mother to california and he doesn't have hardly a nickel, he truely does seem like a little boy lost, crushed still by the death of his brother Gerard and his father whom he found, crushed by all the love lost, by all the dreams evaporated.
Evey place he goes, he believes that happiness may lie at the next stop- but once he gets there, there is only sadness once again. At first he wants to return to the mountain on which he'd felt so trapped, but by the end of the book, he just wants to return to the womb.