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Visions of Cody (1972)
de Jack Kerouac
No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.
I’ve read 9 other novels by Kerouac (7 of which I’ve given 4+ stars), and consider him one of my favorite authors, but ‘Visions of Cody’ is a tough go. The first couple of chapters are uneven, but have some nice passages in the impressionist (or perhaps modern art) manner that Kerouac paints, with him bumming around New York and thinking of his friend Cody (Neal Cassady). His friendship with Cassady was so deep that in a letter to him he effused that he was his “lover”, that he “loves you and digs your greatness completely – haunted in the mind by you”. He’s lonely, thinking about life, reading Joyce, Proust, Melville, and Céline, doing a variety of drugs, and trying to scrape up a way of getting out to San Francisco. All of that sounds pretty interesting, but even so it’s pretty dense mining the nuggets of gold out of his stream of consciousness passages.
Where the novel breaks down for me, however, is chapter 3, featuring a 130 page transcript of Kerouac and Cassady high on marijuana, rambling on about nothing in particular. In the book’s notes, Allen Ginsberg does a phenomenal job describing why he finds this section compelling in six points (briefly summarized: 1. ‘Teahead’ talk and never before been transcribed and examined, 2. Despite monotony, the gaps and changes are dramatic, 3. It leads somewhere, 4. It is interesting if you know and love the characters, 5. It’s real, and 6. It’s art and relevant to progress in Kerouac’s art). That sounds fantastic but reading it is not, and it’s followed by 90 more pages of an “Imitation of the Tape”. There are some nice bits towards the end of the book, but it’s just tough to recover from this big block in the middle, which while heralded as a radical, experimental form, is to me an incoherent, literal transcript of a couple of guys getting high. It pains me to say this, but you can do much better with his other books.
Hard to read unless you're really familiar with Kerouac's writing style and the beat generation mythology. Experimental.
Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac (1993)
I've enjoyed a lot of Kerouac on a fleeting basis - I was told 'On the Road' and 'Dharma Bums' were THE BOOKs to read. Lo and behold, it turns out those were just the commercial pop singles for an artist whose real masterpieces are the obscure deep album cuts.
My Desert Island Kerouac books are this and 'Doctor Sax,' for sheer aural sensual beauty.
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An experimental novel which remained unpublished for years, Visions of Codyis Kerouac's fascinating examination of his own New York life, in a collection of colourful stream-of-consciousness essays. Transcribing taped conversations between members of their group as they took drugs and drank, this book reveals an intimate portrait of people caught up in destructive relationships with substances, and one another. Always fixated by Neal Cassady - the Cody of the title, renamed for the book along with Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs - Kerouac also explores the feelings he had for a man who would inspire much of his work.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
Una edició d'aquest llibre ha estat publicada per Penguin Australia.
Don’t get me wrong, I generally like Kerouac a lot, but with this book I gradually lost interest and was relieved to actually be able to finish it. He writes in the short intro: "Instead of just a horizontal account of travels on the road, I wanted a vertical, metaphysical study of Cody's character and its relationship to the general America." - While his initial concept is good, the drawback is that it gets so "metaphysical" at times that he's simply just rambling along aimlessly and being annoyingly tedious. Maybe there's a point to that as well, but if so, that point gets lost when it drags out throughout endless pages of kaleidoscopic stream-of-consciousness. There are some really good parts here, mainly in the first half of the book, and it is also worth reading because it deals with male friendship on a profound level - but still.. while it as a whole is an interesting experiment in writing, I doubt other than die-hard Kerouac fans will enjoy or appreciate all of this.
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