Came across this 1999 publication of the journals of Jack Kerouac that pertain to his study, or is it reaction to Buddhism. It is a big thick book that is comprised of 11 of his notebooks. The format of his writings has been typeset in a way so that the whole book is rather a labyrinth of thought, rambling, insight and struggle.
The book seems to be, and I’ve only dipped into it so far, a detailed account of a man’s reaction and struggle with his own mind and life. He wrote a good portion of it while drunk. Does that make it a drunken ramble. Sometimes. But other times it is raw, insightful and powerful.
Reviews on Amazon are mixed. The worst one is an ad hominum argument against Kerouac, his upbringing and pretty much everything having to do with him. It was very clear that the author of that review just doesn’t like Kerouac as any kind of icon, symbol, writer or human being. But more people appreciated the book than not.
I’m actually looking forward to exploring this complex collection of thoughts, ideas and reflections in more depth. And there’s poetry in there too. Having an interest in the history of the adoption of Buddhism in America and particularly by the Arts and Letters types this is just the sort of thing that marks a significant stage in that process.
I just thought I would bring this to the attention of those with similar interests.
Here’s a link at Amazon to look at reviews or get your own copy. You can also preview some of the contents to see for yourself what I mean by labyrinth of thought there.