We should be wondering tonight, "Is there a world?" But I could go and talk on 5, 10, 20 minutes about is there a world, because there is really no world, cause sometimes I'm walkin’ on the ground and I see right through the ground. And there is no world. And you'll find out. (Jack Kerouac in interview with Al Aronowitz)
My initial interpretation of Kerouac's Big Sur was drilled with disappointment. The reason for this letdown would be obvious to any On the Road fanatic who gets through the semi-autobiographical novel, but, fear not for this disappointment was the author's intention, or so it seems.
The semi I insist on affixing to the autobiographical label is due to the nature of it's semi-automatic alter ego narration that finds its voice in one Jack Duluoz who has been instrumented by Kerouac in some previous works. This was also the wishes of the publishers apparently; copyright complications that saw the real life hip-and-beat contemporaries of Kerouac in the beat generation's input in the San Francisco renaissance, writers like William S. Burroughs and Alan Ginsberg to name a few, morph into fictional characters, the names of which some of them were given the choice to choose.(to be continued)