Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You win Kerourac

I made it to page 139 of On the Road - which I think is a success as I only found 2 people who have actually read the book. If I had to describe On the Road in one word it would be: INDULGENT.

I'm not arguing that this style of "novel" didn't disrupt the literary status quo at the time and that was a positive thing. However, that does not make it quality literature and it does not make it something I need to read.

I prefer to leave On the Road where it should be: the book on everyone's to-read list because it makes them seem less yuppy-ish and yet never gets read.

My feminist bias also got in the way of reading this book for similar reasons as to why I boycott reading I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Regardless of the drugged out writing and the ignoring of grammar and the pointless blah-tangent-blahing and the hypocritical forging out into the country (but always with the option to mooch off the aunt for money)...I have extreme issues with Kerouac's treatment and description of women.

Examples? No problem.

Banging Chicks Schedule:
"There was always a schedule in Dean's life. 'The schedule is this: I came off work a half-hour ago. In that time Dean is balling Marylou at the hotel and gives me time to change and dress. At one sharp he rushes from Marylou to Camille - of course neither one of them knows what's going on - and bangs her once, giving me time to arrive at one-thirty. Then he comes out with me...Then at six he goes back to Marylou - and he's going to spend all day tomorrow running around to get the necessary papers for their divorce. Marylou's all for it, but she insists on banging in the interim. She says she loves him - so does Camille.'"

Disappointing virgins:
"She was a nice little girl, simple and true, and tremendously frightened of sex. I told her it was beautiful. I wanted to prove this to her. She let me prove it, but I was too impatient and proved nothing. She sighed into the dark."

The ruining of the word 'in':
Lee Ann took all her clothes off and lay down to sun herself...I watched her...I wanted to jump down from a mast and land right in her..."

Summation of the novel:
"It was a complete meaningless set of circumstances that made Dean come, and similarly I went off with him for no reason."

Change of sentiment...
"The truth of the matter is we don't understand our women; we blame on them and it's all our fault."

...but not change of deeds:
"We played catch with Marylou over the couch; she was no small doll either."

...really not changing any deeds, and the ruining of the word 'work':
"We're buddies aren't we...Finally he came out with it: he wanted me to work Marylou...I knew he wanted to see what Marylou was like with another man."

...but don't worry it's because of issues - I leave you to discern the metaphor:
"Only a guy who's spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes; beseeching at the portals of the soft source, mad with a completely physical realization of the origins of life-bliss; blindly seeking to return the way he came."

If I want to read meandering psychobabble filled texts, I'll stick with Anais Nin. Because at least she actually has meaning to her writing and calls the work what it is: A DIARY.

"I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion."


  1. Okay, I need to take a shower after reading those excerpts. I'm surprised you made it through to page 139! What a load of crap.

  2. I lost track of how many times I said EW out loud.

  3. Upon reading this, I strongly encourage you never to pick up anything by Bukowski

  4. James - HAHAHAHA thanks for the warning : )