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Big Sur,

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“It always makes me proud to love the world somehow- hate’s so easy compared.”

First edition first printing.

A nice copy preserved in publisher’s binding with original dust jacket.



Kerouac, Jean–Louis Lebris De (“Jack”). Big Sur.

New York, Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, [1962].

In-8. Original publisher’s gilt–lettered cloth–backed boards, blue top stain; original unclipped dust jacket (small scuff to front panel, else fine).

First edition first printing recounting Kerouac’s trips to a cabin in Bixby Canyon with Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Charters A17a.


In first Issue dustjacket vibrant in color with the publisher’s $4.50 printed price present on the front flap.

This book offers a nostalgic retrospective of the great epoch of joyful travel on the roads of America, an amusing commentary on the public’s image of the “generation” and the point made by a 40 years old man that at this age bliss is not easy to reach.

Big Sur’s hero hates gadgets; a 25-cent cup is more valuable to him than the most luxurious appliance in a modern kitchen. Jack Duluoz dreams of a wild countryside, without tourists; as a witness, a mule – Alf, the sacred mule to whom Jack hands his last apple; like the water of the river from which he drinks the purifying drink, the sea is also sacralized. Kerouac transcribes its “joyful noises”: “Choou – Chooouo – Choueuch… Schuch – Scheurk – Boum plop…” in a poem with sentences that are both fluid and jerky “improvised” like  jazz musicians whose melodic theme is almost immediately broken by a cascade of improvisations. But Kerouac-Duluoz is bored by the sea. Or more precisely, he is no longer able to marvel. I can no longer rave about the great magic mystery of creation nor say like all the others: Oh, that life is miraculous! God has done this and that…”.

“His personal chronicle of America in the 40s and 50s is accompanied by a formidable evocation of American space that links Kerouac to the tradition of bard poets like Walt Whitman: the author of On the Road wanted to invent a romanesque form with the dimensions of the continent, a writing as flexible and nervous as a jazz solo, as broad and fluid as the Mississippi. This is the incomparable originality and success of Jack Kerouac” (Brice Matthieussent).

First edition.

A nice copy preserved in contemporary binding with original dust jacket.


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