Hello everybody !
Today here I am to give you a short reading advice about a Kerouac’s short book since we studied his work in Initiatory and Exile stories notion. It’s named Tristessa, it was published in 1960. This book relates the author’s life between 1955 and 1956 while he was living in Mexico with his friends. This book is also a meditation about love and it’s meaning because the author fell in love with a Mexican prostitute he named Tristessa.
Now let’s focus on the writing style ; we quickly notice that Kerouac’s style is really singular and that we have to get used to it to appreciate the book. In deed, Kerouac has the manner to write down everything without stopping : that’s why we have few full marks and a lot of dashes as he didn’t finish his sentences. I don’t know if it already happened to you but when I read it I get used to the rythm and sometimes at the end of a page I have to stop because my breath follows the rythm of the text so I feel like I’m choking haha it’s quite weird. We also notice that there are no chapters except that the book is composed of two parts to indicate that time has passed. I also realized that the action is very consdensed because we follow the author’s routine but sometimes he stops on details that take one or two pages and it goes back to the main action, I admit that it’s quite confusing sometimes.
I don’t want to spoil you the book but I really liked the main plot because Kerouac is really comitted in the approach of displaying each feelings and each thoughts inside his head but it’s embarassing because he is able to write very nice things and put next to it terrible comparisons haha. I also have to mention the presence of drugs at each page and again I admit that it can be annoying sometimes but in a way we understand that every characters are addicted to drugs so we couldn’t avoid it. But the meditative’s aspect of the book is really well built because you can see the characters and his feelings evolving through the times and I noticed that the Beat Generation has a real gift in the way that the things they wrote have a real impact on the reader ; I mean that you can pratically feel what the author wrote because you undserstand that it’s something really personal and that he puts his real feelings on it.
By the way, I’m still convinced that Kerouac is one of my favourite author with the whole Beat Generation because they have a very specific style that create a whole different atmosphere from books that we know.