Friday, May 25, 2012

Soon at a theater near you …

… Bernard-Henri Lévy: Kerouac at the Cinema.

And then I finally learned, even later, much later, from Paul Bowles in Tangiers, that Kerouac, one day, had had enough of this book, he cursed it, he hated it. There are books like that, said Paul Bowles; for me it was The Sheltering Sky, for him, On the Road, books of life that, in becoming cults, turn into books of death. Magical books that ultimately weigh you down, crush you, suffocate your desire to go on writing and living; books that damn you, books as heavy as tombstones and that, in the final analysis, one can only die of -- this terrible "mortal shiver" his other friend, Allen Ginsberg, discerned in him towards the end.

The book that puts a writer on the map is often not his best. Tropic of Cancer is not Henry Miller's best book, and The Dharma Bums is better than On the Road.

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