Book of Blues by Jack Kerouac

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Synopsis

Best known for his "Legend of Duluoz" novels, including On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac is also an important poet. In these eight extended poems, Kerouac writes from the heart of experience in the music of language, employing the same instrumental blues form that he used to fullest effect in Mexico City Blues, his largely unheralded classic of postmodern literature. Edited by Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, rich with imagery, propelled by rythm, and based in a reverent attentiveness to the moment."In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, and so sometimes the word-meaning can carry from one chorus into another, or not, just like the phrase-meaning can carry harmonically from one chorus to the other, or not, in jazz, so that, in these blues as in jazz, the form is determined by time, and by the musicians spontaneous phrasing & harmonizing with the beat of time as it waves & waves on by in measured choruses." —Jack Kerouac


 

About Jack Kerouac

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Jack Kerouac(1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.
 
Published September 1, 1995 by Penguin Books. 274 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Book of Blues

Publishers Weekly

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The form of these eight long, previously unpublished poems written between 1954 and 1961, is, Kerouac writes, ``limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they were written.'' Eac

Sep 04 1995 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Publishers Weekly

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From clipped descriptions of America's underbelly ("a pile of junk, —& the/ girders of the viaduct have / great black bolt heads/ like knobs of a / sweating steel black/ city") to vague hipster prophesying ("The next great con-/ flict will be between/ Hip & Christ"), Whitmanesque embraces of his ...

Mar 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Publishers Weekly

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This new edition of the primary beat's private dream diaries presents the whole of Kerouac's original manuscript, including some 200-odd dreams not published in the initial selection (1961).

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Publishers Weekly

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The form of these eight long, previously unpublished poems written between 1954 and 1961, is, Kerouac writes, ``limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they were written.'' Each poem is actually a series of ``blues choruses,'' and they leap with drunkenly self-centered the...

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Publishers Weekly

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The form of these eight long, previously unpublished poems written between 1954 and 1961, is, Kerouac writes, ``limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they were written.'' Eac

Sep 04 1995 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Portland Book Review

Cisneros, who has won many awards including NEA Fellowships, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, as well as a MacArthur Fellowship, says she knew as she wrote this story that “it was helping to bring me back to myself.” This is a charmingly illustrated tale, rich in metaphor, and ...

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Portland Book Review

wp.me/P2DwkQ-cqb In The Wrong Way Down, author Jake Elliot creates a fantastical world that is both believable and magical.

Jan 16 2013 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Portland Book Review

In “Man-O-War,” a character examines “the valley below [which] seemed to unfurl and flatten like a starched white sheet,” or when watching the sun set, “the sky settled into strata of pale blue atop gold and flame orange and a swath of clouds colored lavender and coral and an indigo so dark they ...

Nov 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Portland Book Review

Collected here are Mexico City Blues, The Scripture of the Golden Eternities, Book of Blues, Pomes All Sizes, Old Angel Midnight, Desolation Pops, Book of Haikus, and roughly 40 previously uncollected poems.

Nov 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Book of Blues

Reader Rating for Book of Blues
82%

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