To me it felt like a nice epilogue of sorts to On The Road. The Buddhist theme is very superficial, but it's a nice book. You read Kerouac to get a feeling for the subculture of the time and this is probably one of his best expositions of that.
>>7553298 What made you feel that the Buddhism stuff was superficial? To me it seemed quite genuine, especially with him arguing with japhy about east and west really being the same thing and how he sort of had his own perspective that wasnt too bothered, in the end, about what others thought.
>>7553307 Don't get me wrong, I think Kerouac was genuinely interested in Buddhism (case in point, see his short biography of the Buddha). But for a book called The Dharma Bums, supposedly about seeking a spiritual life, it's much more concerned with the superficial Buddhist aesthetic that took over counter-culture America around the 50s/60s. It's not really a critique of the book, just an observation. I thoroughly enjoyed reading more of Kerouac's adventures, but the veneer of Buddhism doesn't really change the On The Road formula much.
Pretty much this. They're being very earneSt but Kerouac is the quintessential "do a few Aums and quote a koan" type of pop Buddhist. Sure he reads some of the main texts but there's a fundamental lack of real understanding there or, at the very least, he just glossed over what he didn't want so he could pick and choose.
Ah alright i see what you mean, for someone like me who is a lot less familiar with the nuances of buddhism and stuff it came off as if he sort of got quite in touch with it but that he was leaving those parts out for the sake of brevity. Interesting to know.
I liked it more than In The Road. It had a general more positive ambient which made his pathetic moments seem sad more than edgy. It also serves to show how hard it was to get information before the internet. I always remember the moment they go read poertry to a jail and Kerouac is too paranoid to go. It's incredible that not only they though it would interest them, but for what they said it went pretty well. Right now I don't remember much, but it's probably my favorite upbeat kerouac.
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