Big Sur relates the biographical adventures of Jack Kerouac (hidden under his alter-ago Jack Duluoz) ten years after his success with On the Road. A more mature novel, as Jack is.
Jack was the main representative of the “Beat Generation”, that young american generation that criticized the traditional society values of the 60’s. He created a new way of thinking that really caught on the youngest generations. And it was fast and crazy, as it was his success and fame. And he was overwhelmed by this, because he was the icon for an entire generation and everybody was watching him. Everybody wanted to meet him. We can almost say he suffered an “harassment”.
In this book we can discover this part of Jack’s life. He was affected by an important delirium tremens after a big time of alcoholism shut away in his home while his fans knocked at his door almost every minute. This feeling of sickness and tiredness lead him to Big Sur, California. He sought there the quietness he could not find in his common “habitat”. He met there a girl and befriends more “beatniks” but his feeling of weariness made him destroy each relationship he started there. He was only able to connect with the nature and the beautiful sceneries that surrounded him. But he even got tired of that and finally he returned home.
He is able to communicate his pessimism and bitterness through his words. Suddenly we get plunged into a feeling of depression or relief when he is in direct contact with nature. We experiment the same he experiments: his reflexions, his delirium tremens nightmares, his unease at not finding his place. And all of this through an exquisite prose.
Not so many writers can get that. And that is why Jack Kerouac is one of the best authors all our time.