The American Jack Kerouac explores his depths by writing his dreams

In the preface to his experimental novel The Book of Dreams, the American writer Jack Kerouac, pioneer of the Beat Generation or House Generation, warns us that we are about to read a handful of dreams written by themselves, as soon as he wakes up. And many times, even before he awoke, she wrote with an amazing flow according to the logic of a dream the perfect path to the depths of the soul, where the sight stretched to horizons reaching the infancy of mankind . He also warns us that the characters he wrote about in his novels also appear here in new and strange dreamlike situations… He continues to tell the same story, the only story he wrote about in his lifetime, taking from himself and his companions he always wanted to remind them of their real names as heroes, it was not for the objection of the publishers, even if they had to include tables of characters revealing their identities, as he wanted. Kerouac says of his heroes, “They just keep popping up here and doing other strange things for no particular reason, except that the mind is falling apart, the brain is in whirls, the moon is sinking, and everybody’s putting their heads under the pillow with their covers, it’s wonderful. And so beautiful. Someone in the world dreams every night, binds all mankind in an unspoken bond and also proves that the world is truly transcendent…”

Literature of the present moment

From the texts of the book, for example, “This is my happiest dream: my best friend died more than twenty years ago. This is not a dream, but a reality.” The dream, “The phone rang, a wall phone. I picked up Matt’s quiet, cheerful voice saying hello. How are things there, Matt? I asked him. Okay,” he said, “That was the ultimate compliment .” So glad to hear that, Matt. ), so glad things are good on the other side… That dream was vivid, the sound, the clarity of the message and the peace that overwhelmed me… Long for the wall phones. I think they gave him a phone in heaven.”

Published in 1961 and reissued in 2001, The Book of Dreams is a revamp of his world-famous novel On the Road, which was rejected by publishers for its experimental style, sexual content and the protagonists’ jazz-filled lives, poetry, and drug abuse. This is what he called the “house generation” of which Kerouac co-founded with Allen Ginsberg and Neil Cassidy. On the Road is a manifesto for this generation looking for the status it deserves, and the desire to turn defeat into victory in their own way. Kerouac wrote of the experience, “I’m going to find a roll of paper of the type used to cover shelves. I’ll put that roll in my typewriter and start typing at full speed, not worrying about that trick called text structure not, and we will see the result.” The result was initially disappointing to the owner’s ambition, forcing him to delete many exciting tracks in response to the publishing movement until it appeared in a more refined guise in 1957, that is, six years after its writing. , gained fame, and even makes it an innovator of “the literature of the present moment.”

In 2011, the original copy of the novel printed on a roll of paper was sold at auction for $2.5 million, and is now displayed in the Museum of Letters exhibit, within a nine-meter-long glass facade, in the form of long American roads, on both sides of which are scattered scenes from Kerouac’s life. . Along with scenes that evoke the books with which he loved poets and writers, including Jean Genet, Rimbaud and Marcel Proust, whose search for “lost time” was Kerouac’s point of departure in his novel, as he himself admits, “I decided to do exactly what Proust did, but intensely.” .

Two men wander through the city

In Proust’s grounded approach, “On the Road” tells the true stories of several key figures of the Home Generation, such as William Burroughs, Alan Ginsberg and his companion Neil Cassidy, who inspired him with the idea for the book. He appears on the road under the name Dean Moriarty, transforming through the chapters of the novel from a prison graduate to a contemporary forecaster. In his letter to a student in 1961, Kerouac wrote, “Dean and I embarked on a journey through post-Whitman America to find the America we imagine, and to find the inherent goodness of the American man. It was really a story of two Catholic men who searched the city in search of God, and we found Him.” .

In The Book of Dreams, Dean takes the name Cody Pomerai as evident in The Table of Characters, and while the novel lacks a solid plot and significant rhythm, as in On the Road, it is in a way the most important reference to Kerouac’s writing , In a sense Goal to achieve: Explore the subconscious, “While wandering through the outskirts of the slums of Mexico City, I am stopped by the smile of three cats that came out at night from a public street that somewhat was crowded with the dodgy lights, coke. stalls, and tortilla chips—they’d no doubt steal my bag—I resisted a bit, gave in ‘I began to share my worries with her. bag with someone, arm in arm , like a gang to the city center lights of Letterran…’

death is one

The “Dream Book” talks about lost love, madness, castration, talking cats, cats in danger, people giving birth to kittens, classrooms, Mel Turmy, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tolstoy, Jean Genet … they all appear repeatedly and reveal ‘ Familiar with fragile beauty in Kerouac’s character, as a man on an endless journey, like Ulysses’ journey when he is tossed around in every way, to find all directions to freedom, to make new ways of writing and to to make up for everything he missed. “Everything we lost will come back to us in Heaven,” writes Jack, remembering the sad days after his brother’s death. “In the general loss of the family, here, it’s like the night Gerrard died and his relatives were screaming in the bedrooms upstairs. I thought it was the end of the world.”

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Kerouac often referred to 34th Beaulieu Street as “Sad Beaulieu”. His family lived there in 1926 when his older brother, Gerard, died of rheumatic fever at the age of nine. This deeply affected the four-year-old Jack. He later said that Gerrard followed him in his life as a guardian angel.

But the “Book of Dreams” is not just “a handful of dreams” as he notes in his introduction, there are many real facts, and if I, in turn, consider them dreams that have finally come true, “I will linger pacing the corridors smiling for the first time, I don’t have to go to school at all I’ve become a great writer… Ah, not having to go to school is now a dream, to surviving my high school nightmares, and not going to school because you’re a famous author, wow, that’s definitely a dream come true…”.

After leaving school, Kerouac joined the US Marines to serve in World War II. It was to sail on board the barge, SS Dorchester, which had stopped to rest, and had forgotten himself in a violent party and fortunately could not catch it, as death gave him time. This is the ship that was bombed and killed 600 marines, not including Kerouac of course, to say throughout his life that he would have killed with them if he hadn’t been lucky, but luck wasn’t very good to him , he died at the age of forty-seven due to internal bleeding due to his alcoholism. After his death, his literary fame spread and many of his previously unknown works were published, including “On the Road”, “Doctor Sachs”, “Drama of the Homeless”, “The Melancholy of Mexico City”, “The Crypts”, “Angels of Destruction” and “Visions” Cody, “Brother of the Sea” and “The Book of Dreams”. Perhaps his unique style, spontaneous and fluid, helps us to know what is going on in the head of the pioneer of the “generation of the house” at a distance that is as close as possible.

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