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The Dharma Bums (Anglais) Relié – 1958

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Jack Kerouac, né en 1922 dans le Massachusetts est d'origine canadienne-française et bretonne. C'est le chantre le plus écouté de ce groupe de romanciers et de poètes américains, qui s'est donné le nom de "beat generation". Il est mort en Floride en 1969.

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67 internautes sur 69 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In search of the eternal state of being 24 août 2007
Par James Ferguson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
As Kerouac notes in the introductory chapter, he met Gary Snyder, a.k.a. Japhy Ryder in 1955, just before Snyder went off to Japan to immerse himself in Zen Buddhism. What follows is a free-wheeling account of their time together in perhaps Kerouac's most appealling and certainly most postive book. Dharma Bums is a celebration of American Buddhism, which was budding in San Francisco at the time, with a number of Beat poets reading their haikus and free-verse poems at the Six Gallery in San Francisco. Once again, Kerouac revels in changing names, but among the many prominent faces presented in this autobiographical novel are Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Rexroth and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Snyder was the rising star, a Buddhist scholar and translator of books of Japanese and Chinese poetry while studying at Berkley. Snyder, like Kerouac, had working class roots and the two hit it off from the start, exulting in each other's state of being.

Kerouac devotes Dharma Bums to Snyder in the same way he did On the Road to Neal Cassady. It was one of Kerouac's more happy times, as he was heavy into Buddhism, and sought out Snyder as a soulmate and mentor. Kerouac sets the stage wonderfully, coming across a hobo reading from St. Theresa on a train bound for LA, coming back from Mexico. He then hops the "Zipper" up to San Francisco, which whirled along at 80 miles an hour on the California coastline. Kerouac hangs out at Ginsberg's cabin in the Berkley hills, but it is Snyder's spartan cabin that draws his attention. Snyder had already chosen to live the life of an aesthete, giving up most of his worldly possessions, except for his famous rucksack and orange crates of books, mostly of poetry. Kerouac captures some wonderful moments as they all gathered around drinking wine and engaging in yab yum with a girl who went by the name of Princess.

The heart of the story revolves around Jack's and Gary's hike to the Matterhorn in the Sierra Nevada, in which the two form a strong bond that propells Kerouac on other adventures, including a summer at Desolation Peak in the northern Cascades that would become the subject of his next book, Desolation Angels. Kerouac's writing shines in this book, as he is able to maintain such an ecstatic high throughout the narrative, almost seeming to touch the sky. Of course, having such a positive person like Gary Snyder to wrap the book around gave Kerouac the impelling force he needed, as on his own Kerouac often sank into melancholy and despair, which characterized his later years. One marvels at the free and easy nature of this pair as they search out their respective enlightenment, drawing on nature and their sense of the eternal cosmos.

One doesn't have to be well versed in Buddhism to appreciate this book, although allusions and references are many and may confuse some readers. Just let yourself go and enjoy the free flow of the narrative, which is Kerouac at his best.
94 internautes sur 100 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Worth every penny! 14 août 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Man, I don't know where to start. "The Dharma Bums" is a masterpiece of the Beat Generation and a novel I will not soon forget. After The Loser's Club by Richard Perez, this is the best book I've read all year.
Jack Kerouac wrote this story about his days as a Zen Buddhist and rucksack wanderer. His alias in the book is Raymond Smith, and he is living in Berkley with his good buddy Alvah Goldbook(Allen Ginsburg). Ray meets a Zen Lunatic named Japhy Ryder(Gary Snyder), and together they travel the mountains and pastures of Central California trying to find themselves and find the true meaning of life. Ray also journies to Desolation Peak in Washington and lives there alone for the summer, which is just another chapter to this amazing piece of literature.
Another part of this book that impressed me was the beginning, when Kerouac wrote about his experience at the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, and spoke of Alvah Goldbook's first reading of his poem "Wail", which in reality was Allen Ginsburg's legendary first reading of "Howl", which to this day is a Beat Literature classic.
While reading this book, I was constantly marking lines and passages, because some of the descriptions and poetry Kerouac included in this novel are simply amazing. "The Dharma Bums" is one of those books I will treasure forever and read over and over again.
49 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Life is great! 15 août 2000
Par William Timothy Lukeman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Having heard me praise this book countless times, my wife finally read it for herself. Her response? "You know, I was expecting some stereotype of `cool' Beatniks, trying to be so hip and detached. But that's just some popular media image. The people in this book are exuberant, thoughtful, even spiritual!" That sums it up as well as anything. Forget the glib idea of alterna-cultural one-upmanship that passes for a Beat attitude these days - "The Dharma Bums" is about naïve exuberance, anything-but-ironic soul-searching, an eager exploration of life's sorrows and joys, and the sheer, exhilarating, wondrous zest of being alive and aware in an endlessly fresh world. If reading this clear mountain stream of a book doesn't make you want to change your life and your way of looking at life, then you're just hopelessly blind to something precious! Life is so much more than the neatly packaged, pre-imagined commercial that society would love to sell you, and "The Dharma Bums" will gladly show you one possible way of finding your true path.
30 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A cool drink 3 mai 2004
Par C. Ebeling - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
DHARMA BUMS came out a year after ON THE ROAD. While the latter is the beat manifesto celebrating the peripatetic lifestyle, BUMS focuses on the beat romance with Buddhist enlightenment and the building of an inner life. ON THE ROAD was an instant, memorable success, and while BUMS no doubt fed a desire for more of the same, it stands apart, its own satisfying work of art, its own way of sending telegraphs from the heart of the beat movement. Many of the episodes are based on actual events and experiences that were still fresh memories as the book was written.
Ray Smith is the first person narrator of DHARMA BUMS, a look alike for Jack Kerouac. For most of the book, he slyly puts Japhy Ryder at the center of attention. Ryder is a stand-in for poet Gary Snyder who survives, who as a young man in his twenties was already a natural leader. Surrounding them are other familiar figures from the era, including Alvah Goldbook (translates to Allen Ginsberg). They all write poetry and love jazz, women, and a casual lifestyle. They seek spiritual enlightenment. They delight in trolling for clothes in the Good Will and Army and Navy stores, they savor the simplest meal over a campfire. They are the Dharma Bums, rejecting the paralyzed emptiness they ascribe to middle class life.
I really like this book. The prose is clear and concrete, even when sorting through abstract notions. It is often funny. Kerouac had extraordinary insight into individual nuances and desires, and plays them into the tension of the journey and the sorting out. He had a gift for seeing how outsiders might perceive him and his crowd and how history might come to interpret the present he was portraying. Though he is legendarily perceived as a spontaneous artist, there is extraordinary control and shape imposed on these pages. Only twice does he momentarily break his world: once, in my edition, he slips and refers to Japhy as Gary, and another time, slipping out of the immediacy of the action, he pays a compliment to a simple meal on the road, noting that even as a lionized young writer in New York, he had not had a better meal in an upscale restaurant. Those curious nanoseconds can be forgiven, however. This book is a joy.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A light-hearted mix of religious lunacy and zest for nature 8 décembre 2000
Par Marcus Walker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
'The Dharma Bums' is a tale of social dropouts in California who search for Buddhist enlightenment and truth (dharma) amid wine, sex, hitchhiking and mountain scenery. It's a good introduction to Kerouac - shorter, lighter and more accessible than On the Road, which is a more epic but also has some monotonous bits.
If religious certainties turn you off, you might tire of dharma-bum narrator Ray's Buddhist slogans and the dogmatic Zen views of Japhy, Ray's buddy. But though Kerouac portrays Buddhism as liberating, he also laughs a lot at kooky piety. At some points - like Ray's 'banana sermon' - religion becomes either profound or hilarious, or both.
Ray tries to reach nirvana by convincing himself the world's an illusion, which makes it ironic that the best bits in this novel are poetic descriptions of mountains and travel. The final lonely mountain-top vigil - based on Kerouac's experience as a fire lookout, described in Lonesome Traveller - is a tour de force. Kerouac's prose flair allows him to string 10 adjectives in front of a noun, a heinous crime in modern writing fashion, and get away with it.
Kerouac balances Ray and Japhy's Buddhist belief that the world is illusory against the earthbound views of world-weary poet Alvah Goldbook, a thinly veiled Allen Ginsberg. Alvah's quest to soak up his surroundings rather than transcend them puts him closer to the philosophy of On the Road, in which the travelling bums reach a jubilant but sad-hearted state of raw appreciation of their phsyical world.
Through the Ray-Japhy-Alvah triangle and all the minor characters, 'The Dharma Bums' gives various answers to Kerouac's big question in this and other books: how to lead a free existence in a conformist careerist consumerist society. Fifty years later, the question's got more vital. Youthful rebellion and boheme are just marketing motifs for soft drinks, CDs and snowboards now, but Kerouac shows you it's possible to be authentically free - if you have the guts.
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