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"Book of Dreams" is Kerouac's record of his dreamlife, a parallel autobiography of the soul, the sleeper's "On the Road": "I got my weary bones out of bed & through eyes swollen with sleep swiftly scribbled in pencil in my little dream notebook till I had exhausted every rememberable item."... he writes. In 1961 City Lights published excerpts from the manuscript. This new, expanded edition marks the first publication of the complete manuscript as Kerouac intended it. Includes illustrations.

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). More or less liberated from the requirements of the Beat swagger, Kerouac's writing is at times blissfully uncool, evoking an almost na ve and sentimental sensibility: " this kitty was an angel, and spoke the truth"; "nobody loves me 'cause there's no me." Correspondences between some dream characters and their counterparts in the novels are not accidental, and are correlated in a prologue (and by poet Robert Creeley, in an insightful introduction). But many facets of Kerouac's oeuvre appear here much less polished, and more naked and powerful: " My mother and I are arm in arm on the floor, I'm crying afraid to die, she's blissful and has one leg in pink sexually out between me, and I'm thinking 'Even on the verge of death women think of love & snaky affection' Women? who's dreaming this?" Lost love, madness, castration, cats that speak, cats in danger of their lives, people giving birth to cats, grade school classrooms, Mel Torme, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tolstoy and Genet all make repeated appearances, lending the collection a repetitive, nonprogrammatic logic and exposing an unfamiliar sort of vulnerable beauty in Kerouac's iconic persona. One only wonders, in the end, whether anyone, even Jack Kerouac, really has such fantastic dreams.


Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was a principal actor in the Beat Generation, a companion of Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady in that great adventure. His books include On the Roa, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, Lonesome Traveler, Scattered Poems, Visions of Cody, Pomes All Sizes, and Scripture of the Golden Eternity.

Product Details:

Author: Jack Kerouac   
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: City Lights Publishers; 1st edition (June 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0872863808
ISBN-13: 978-0872863804
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches