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Big Sur quotes Big Sur, litcharts Big Sur, symbolism Big Sur, summary shmoop Big Sur, Big Sur a621b8a1 Each Book By Jack Kerouac Is Unique, A Telepathic Diamond With Prose Set In The Middle Of His Mind, He Reveals Consciousness Itself In All Its Syntactic Elaboration, Detailing The Luminous Emptiness Of His Own Paranoiac Confusion Such Rich Natural Writing Is Nonpareil In Later Half XX Century, A Synthesis Of Proust, C Line, Thomas Wolfe, Hemingway, Genet, Thelonius Monk, Basho, Charlie Parker Kerouac S Own Athletic Sacred Insight Big Sur S Humane, Precise Account Of The Extraordinary Ravages Of Alcohol Delirium Tremens On Kerouac, A Superior Novelist Who Had Strength To Complete His Poetic Narrative, A Task Few Scribes So Afflicted Have Accomplished Others Crack Up Here We Meet San Francisco S Poets Recognize Hero Dean Moriarty Ten Years After On The Road Jack Kerouac Was A Writer, As His Great Peer WS Burroughs Says, And Here At The Peak Of His Suffering Humorous Genius He Wrote Through His Misery To End With Sea, A Brilliant Poem Appended, On The Hallucinatory Sounds Of The Pacific Ocean At Big Sur Allen Ginsberg NYC

10 thoughts on “Big Sur

  1. says:

    Kerouac is a paradox He s simultaneously over rated and under rated His worst books particularly On the Road are iconic and uncritically adored by teenagers and hippy dippy morons, while his best works are overlooked.Big Sur ranks among his best It s Kerouac at his lowest, having been devoured by fame and digested by the vast chasm that lies between the saint he s imagined to be and the bitter, depressed, exiled, alcoholic that he really is.Kerouac is astoundingly frank in describing his desperate attempt to deal with what he s become and to somehow reconnect with the wonder that inspired him a mere decade earlier It s a picture of a man at odds with his iconic status It s in direct opposition to so much of his early work that sees holiness and bliss lurking everywhere, including the gutter And the ending, an onamonapoetic ode to the roaring coast of Big Sur, is a vision of destruction and restoration rolled into one.

  2. says:

    When I was in Saint Petersburg, Florida this past spring I m going for a week again this coming December I noticed that in every book store I visitedJack Kerouac s books were on display He died in Saint Petersburg in 1969.yet his presence is still felt today in 2106 in Saint Pete So, when I discovered Big Sur , was a 1.99 Kindle special recently having not read it I bought it The writing is intimate from the start Now since reading Big Sur , I want to rent the movie with Kate Bosworth, Jean Marc Barr, and Josh Lucas I saw clips and it looks great So what s this book about Jack Kerouac spent three weeks in Big Sur.struggles with alcoholism, and has an agonizing love affair He describes his hallucinations in ways that are are to imagine He s so honest, vulnerable and clearly struggling Towards the end of the book Jack returns home to be with his mother and its all so very sad There s a poem in this novel which he wrote called The Sea translating the sound of the ocean.A sad, tragic story surrounded by one of the most beautiful places in the world.

  3. says:

    Kerouac s last stand, for all intents and purposes The Beat Legend is in top form here, as he describes as best as we could ask him to the sickness and insanity that plagued his final years, shortly after the publication of On the Road We watch in horror and sometimes sick fascination as his mind and body deteriorate under the pressures of the bottle, the sudden fame, and the sadness of existence which took his life just a few years after the novel s publication I couldn t help but feel guilty to even be reading this, and hooked on it, like a grim soap opera where I want to see just how shitty things can get for our dear protagonist over the course of the events being described Ah, Jack, you were one of the best we had and I believe I owe you an apology I m sorry I ever said a bad word about the writing you left behind for us, and I m sorry I criticized your style for not being polished enough, not quite F Scott Fitzgerald enough It is my hope that in death you found not the horror you have outlined here, but the peace that s described in the Zen, Bhuddist, and Christian scriptures you so often cited You were human than you ever gave yourself credit for, and as such, subject to heights and depths of light and darkness that most of us will never be able to imagine Whether describing joy or utter despair, you did it with a tender generosity that could make even a nervous breakdown seem like a perfectly logical response to this modern world of ours So, thank you.

  4. says:

    Forgive me for this ramble in the kinda sorta manner of.ohmygodno I did not want to read this book right now, I really did not I am in the middle of reading the later books of the recently departed Philip Roth, unflinchingly facing decay and death, and I had to drive a few hours in a car and I am about to head west On The Road soon and so I wanted to set myself up not with a framework of aging but a sense of eternal youth of joie de vivre of zest for life and go west young man, I was looking for Dharma Bums, and yikes oh no I stumbled into the sad beat drunken Breton the delirium tremens dream of Big Sur, which I had read first at maybe twenty within a year of the time I also read another alcohol ravaged book of self destruction, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry Oh, I so needed Dharma Bums and got Big Sur oh god no, oops so sad and hard to read, but finally, it has searing passages, even you Kerouac haters would have to admit are painfully powerful Jumpin Jack Splash In the ocean, the sea, whee.Kerouac here is stream of consciousness and it s a tale of two Big Surs, one he encounters alone and idyllic and writing every day and dry that is, alcohol free in a friend s cabin, a kind of fast typed journal of peacefulness that he needs because ten years ago he was On the Road with Dean Moriarty Cody which became a beatnik anthem for a nation of young romantics and then Jack kept drinking and Dean got thrown in jail and Jack became surrounded by a thousand or five sycophants and young guys in Dharma Bums t shirts knocking on his door to get drunk with him, and he most often agreed, though by the time of this book he felt it was a lie and a cheat to imagine that the road he personally had taken would lead to anything but ruin In the second section of Big Sur we experience a horrifically precise description of the alcoholic delirium tremens that he encountered on the path to his death from booze Page after page of fighting sweet Billy, the sweet beatnik hippie girl who only wants to heal him with love, and paranoid psychotic hallucinations enough to swear most people off booze for at least a couple days In the end Jack returns sadly and brokenly home to his mother.It is tempting, if you hate On the Road and beatniks and hippies and the whole romantic period extending from the late fifties til the early seventies, to think of Big Sur as the fitting and I told u so Kerouac bookend to On the Road, the pay the piper yang to the Woodstock escapist ying of those days But this is Kerouac s anguished tale of his own life and not a tale of a lost generation though to read it back to back with The Sun Also Rises would be interesting, and damned depressing Big Sur is a writer s addiction memoir, not cultural history Kerouac names his own condition madness, but it is really just a clinical condition almost no one around helps him with, and most just enable him by bringing him booze alcoholism and boom he is dead at 47.The book concludes with the poem Sea that he wrote in his dry idyllic month alone at Big Sur, and is intended as a hopeful coda, maybe I wish I could say what his friend Allen Ginsburg says of it, at the peak of his suffering humorous genius he wrote through his misery to end with Sea, a brilliant poem appended, on the hallucinatory Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur I like the sweet gesture of the poem there at the end, but I never liked Kerouac s poetry and it only feels sadder knowing what The Road led him to I didn t enjoy this book, and some of the writing is just automatic writing, hot or miss, but much of it is powerful and scary and I admire his courage in facing the demons and writing it down Hmm, now where is Dharma Bums and that old On the Road t shirt

  5. says:

    Grabbed Big Sur after avoiding it for sometime Grabbed Big Sur as I walked out the door for my third solo trip to Big Sur Because I had had enough Enough of everything As I said to someone on my way out, I just need to not talk to anybody for a little bit So I grabbed Big Sur, not knowing exactly what it was about.I bombed the curves of Big Sur, passing people I shouldn t have passed Got to my campsite, and set up camp After people told me I shouldn t, no, I couldn t camp alone I m a girl.Actually, I m a grown ass woman, and I can handle myself.Grabbed Big Sur.Hiked 11 miles Because there is nothing like hiking in Big Sur Chaparral, redwoods, ocean The Santa Lucia mountains abruptly rise from the Pacific, creating an amazing and unrivaled ecosystem and landscape Wildflowers Scouted out the next campsite for the next trip, in which I backpack in Because girls shouldn t backpack alone, either.Came back to camp Read Big Sur while sunbathing, yogaishing, cooking dinner, and drinking a hot toddy Read Big Sur under the night sky with the full moon rising over the Santa Lucias Read Big Sur in my sleeping bag, my tent dripping with condensation, a raccoon perusing what I left out Big Sur is like being hit square in the stomach with a 2x4 Kerouac s brutal honesty toward his state of mind It was meant to happen in Big Sur, where the ocean is bigger than your problems, the redwoods are older than your family, and the mountains are higher than your state of being.It was the perfect time, the perfect visit, the perfect setting for me to finally read Big Sur and to reacquaint myself with Kerouac Did I identify with him Not really, but his prose in this novel brings forth something that lies within us all, don t you think Read it in one sitting.And On soft Spring nights I ll stand in the yard under the stars Something good will come out of all things yet And it will be golden and eternal just like that There s no need to say another word because a new love affair always gives hope, the irrational mortal loneliness is always crowned 147

  6. says:

    I think this is Kerouac s most honest work On the Road is awesome and I love it s exuberance for life and experience, but it s ultimately a book of youth all go go go without a thought or consideration of others or consequences that s fine when you re 25, 26, 27 but as I ve gotten older, I ve come to regard On the Road as somewhat blind exuberance and Big Sur is the cliff that Kerouac jumps right off full speed with his eyes open Big Sur is a crack up book and it shows how Kerouac lost his mind to alcohol In this book, Kerouac describes his regimin of drinking in painful detail, and still manages to sound somewhat go go go ish in boyish On the Road terms Jack never grew up, as we can see by the unconvincing ending to this book all hell and horror falling apart and then Bam Everything is Fine right Kerouac would die a few years later from an abdominal hemmorage caused by gut rot from too much wine He documented his horror, but couldn t escape.

  7. says:

    Should you read this book Well, to quote Jack Kerouac himself, I don t know, I don t care, and it doesn t make any difference What inspired me to read Big Sur, which I somehow skipped in all earlier Kerouac stints, was Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar s 2009 LP One Fast Move Or I m Gone Kerouac s Big Sur If you ve not heard about the album, its genesis was Kerouac s nephew Jim Sampas requesting songwriter Jay Farrar Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt to compose some songs based on the Big Sur text for the soundtrack of a documentary film attempting to depict the period of Kerouac s life when he was dogged by the celebrity resulting from the big sales success of On The Road, trying to quit drinking and writing this novel According to Noel Murray s review of the album in the A.V Club, the original intention was for a variety of name musicians to perform Farrar s compositions with him, but he clicked so well with Ben Gibbard Death Cab for Cutie in preliminary production that the two of them completed all 12 tracks The album is a damned fine listen in my opinion, but it s the title track which I believe I read somewhere is a Gibbard than Farrar composition that manages to illuminate something quintessential about my perceptions of Kerouac, particularly the Kerouac of this final novel who can look back on all the excesses and holy goofs from the roads of his erstwhile youth and wonder if it was all worth it As far as I can tell, the only line in the song s lyric that comes from Big Sur is the title chorus one fast move or I m gone , but all the other words ring true to the Kerouac I see in my mind s eye after having read seven of his novels and a long time ago Ann Charters biography Listen to at least the title track yourself, paying close attention to the words Whether it was Gibbard or Farrar or both who wrote them, they really hit upon what I see as the core of Kerouac During one of my earliest times listening to the song, I found myself thinking of the beautifully turned close of the first chapter in Kerouac s first novel, The Town and the City, where a third person narrative voice, rarely if ever used in Kerouac s later work, describes the exterior of the Martin family s house When all the family was stilled in sleep, when the streetlamp a few paces from the house shone at night and made grotesque shadows of the trees upon the house, when the river sighed off in the darkness, when the trains hooted on their way to Montreal far upriver, when the wind swished in the soft treeleaves and something knocked and rattled on the old barn you could stand in old Galloway Road and look at this home and know that there is nothing haunting than a house at night when the family is asleep, something strangely tragic, something beautiful forever I m not trying to romanticize the man That has been done to death way before Gap used an airbrushed version of one of Jerry Yulsman s Kerouac photos to move units, before a living William Burroughs starred in a Nike commercial Who couldn t use such easy money, kid, I m hustling myself, I can almost hear him croak in defense , in other words, before American commerce learned to pimp hip so hard that anyone foolish enough to be a true believer was left to wonder whether they missed the bang or whimper that had heralded everything cool tipping over into a vat of meretricious shit But that too is a case of twas ever thus, science and time have only made it worse More on that in a minute.What I am trying to say is that the man could write and write well when he put his mind to it One of the most important things a writer can do, besides tell a story, is make a reader feel something And few writers can make me feel loneliness like Kerouac could Similar to what Burroughs has written about Hemingway and the subject of death, loneliness was Kerouac s thing, his specialty Sure, you find a fair share of exhilarating headlong rushes into life that burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding in Kerouac s body of work but is it that much of a stretch to imagine those were inspired by the desire to take flight from a haunting inherent loneliness And, I think, it s when his prose strives to convey the bedrock loneliness of the human condition or at least his condition that it really takes off to a place beyond ultimately predictable descriptions of what it feels like to be on the passenger side of car expertly driven at breakneck speeds.Having decided to read Big Sur, I went online and bought a used copy of the original 1963 Bantam Books paperback edition original cover price 75 The synopsis blurb on the cover page is at least 75 cents worth of hilarity Consider the following A NIGHTMARE SUMMERDULUOZ The King of the Beatniks tortured, broken idol of a whole generation great modern sex god who just wanted to be alone with his cat all time boozer of the century who was slowly drinking himself out of his mind.BILLIE his fashion model mistress who knew every dirty trick in the book Duluoz was her man, meal ticket and stud rolled up into one, and she wasn t going to let him get away from her no matter what ELLIOT Billie s son he saw things that would make any adult flinch.ANDBIG SUR the lonely, wild surf pounded shore where Duluoz went to hide where the world tracked him down and made its final attempt to destroy him.Clearly the boys in the marketing division of Bantam Paperback Books thought it best to reduce anything that might have been authentic, original, artistic or god help us hip about the novel to teaser copy that reads like it would have been at home on a poster for a B movie horror flick This is what I meant by twas ever thus, science and time have only made it worse The ad executives from a couple of yesteryears ago thought people could be swayed to buy Gap clothes if they were associated with the images of Miles Davis and Jack Kerouac Further back in 63 apparently some creepy Don Draper types thought the best way to sell Jack Kerouac s final novel was to render an overview of it in third rate Mickey Spillane type bombast.But, I can hear you asking through clenched teeth at this point, what did you think of the goddamned novel When I told several people I planned to read it, I was warned that it s a bleak, unsparing breakdown novel and that Kerouac would take me right along with him That s true enough view spoiler Yet for all the time Kerouac seemed to devote to working on his own unique style his spontaneous bop prosody, which was a double edged sword just as likely to turn him into a silly flibbertigibbet as help him produce searing, evocative prose , I get the sense that he didn t spend too much time thinking about the structures into which he flaunted his style Many chapters before the breakdown really manifests itself in his behavior, he makes numerous references to its pending arrival, so it comes off as less poignant and less visceral to me than it might have had it been allowed to gradually build with scant foreshadowing Even so, as the book s plot descended fully into Kerouac Duluoz s paranoia and delusion, I sensed an organic acceleration to the pace as if we were zooming ever faster toward a horrible crash The description of his dream of the vulture people near the end is so weird and repulsive that as another Goodreads review of this book mentioned you absolutely don t buy the and then I woke up to find that I, and everything else, was just fine and dandy and golden ending hide spoiler

  8. says:

    My fourth Kerouac, and the best I have read of him so far But unlike the others where he simply goes a wandering from one place to the next, Big Sur mostly takes place in, yes that s right, Big Sur, California Damn, what I d give to be there now All that sun I m due a much needed break Jack Duluoz the fictional Kerouac who is suffering with mental and physical exhaustion as a result of not being able to cope with a life in the public eye seeks comfort in a secluded cabin There he drinks, types, drinks some Actually he drinks a lot In fact Big Sur is a novel about the effects alcohol has on the body and soul Kerouac s description of the paranoia and existential disconnectedness he feels during his marathon binges makes for some pretty despairing writing, but then that is the whole point Big Sur eschews the almost Transcendentalist hopefulness of On the Road for the most negative kind of existentialism There is no majesty in the waves against the rocks as Kerouac looks out at the ocean, only the horror that life and all of its meaning seems a deep nothingness, as abruptly as the coast disappears into the water Even the landscape fills him with a sense of impending dread.Characters from his other novels do crop up, but I feel like this is jack at his most cut off from the world The first person descent into madness and psychotic delirium that takes hold leads to one of his most powerful works It s certainly not a book to be inspired by like some of his other novels, but his wry observations and thoughts under the influence of alcohol did make for some compelling reading For those who are big fans of both On the Road and The Dharma Bums this might lead to disappointment, but I was impressed with this.

  9. says:

    Jack Kerouac is not for everyone It s not writing, it s typing said Truman Capote I have read a good amount of Kerouac and his contemporaries works Usually I would rank him 3 to 4 stars Big Sur is different The book stays with me It s bittersweet It follows the same character line up, the people in Kerouac s novel, are people from his real life, Neal Cassady, Michael McClure, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, etc It is very helpful to know which characters refer to specific people.The focus is on the beat scene in and around San Francisco.A key difference in this book compared to his others, Jack, creates his alter ego as a successful author, well known to the public He is coping with the stress of fame as he is trying to heal up his alcoholism This book is about alcoholism He is surrounded by friends who care for him, enable him, chastise him Jack shows you his paranoia, his nightmares, delusions, his self hatred and envy of friends who pull it of Jack harbors a lot of unfulfilled desire to be a family man the pater familiias or as he often states the He Man but he knows he can t live that dream because of alcohol.We get to see Jack in solitude at the cabin in Big Sur , in San Francisco, in domestic scenes with friends families He reflects on times past, especially with Neal Cassady and Neal s wife There is a sense of loss in this novel The writing is very playful, rambling and tangential Rarely profound But the presentation of Jack as he is, warts and all, famous and dying from alcohol addiction, it makes for an amazing read Big Sur is not the beginning of the end of Jack, it is nearly the last act.

  10. says:

    A world weary Kerouac seeks a physical and spiritual retreatI so wish he would have found both and stayed with us a little longer.

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