Tristessa by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac  (1922-1969) is an American writter and poet. Today he is considered as one of the most important writter of the 20th century. During his life, he travelled across the United-Sate, Mexico and in Europe too. He was against armed conflicts and he stood for love (more sexual passion which he said it’s « the door of Paradie »). He seek for liberty (espacially of social conventions) and a meaning of life through drugs and alcohol but too through religon and spirituality (Buddhism). His writting style is rythmic, dynamic and spontaneous. It was very criticized at his time still thus he found the Beat Generation. The Beats hence their criticism of materialism, and want freedom through a personal achievement. Their style of writting wants to convey the immediacy of experience with a no academic-way: put down their thoughts and their feelings whitout any organization. Finally Kerouac influenced many artists like Bob Dylan and kinds like the Road Movie and movements like the Hippies.

Tristessa is a novel published in 1960 but written in 1955/1956. During a trip in Mexico, Kerouac met a prostitude called Esperanza but nicknamed Tristessa. In this book Kerouac has a reflexion on love because he loved the woman but if he makes it physicall, he denatures it; on the death: Tristessa is a junkie who suffered of her life, the drug must kill her, it gnaws her ; on the time: toxicomen forget their remenbrances, they loose notion of time and there is a link with death: more the time is spent more we are close to death; on  loneliness: Kerouac is with many people but he feels alone. This novel is quiet short but so poetic… The style of Kerouac can appear strange with his long sentences, his digressions, his sense of detail,… I don’t know how to describe my impressions but it’s a very good novel, we are immersed in a special world nevertheless a real world, wretched. May be it’s like a lesson of life for us… I think we learn on life with this work.

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