\u201cWe had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.\u201d Mexico, an escape route, inspiration, and ecstatic terminus of the celebrated novel On the Road, was crucial to Jack Kerouac\u2019s creative development. In this dramatic and highly compelling account, Jorge Garc\u00eda-Robles, leading authority on the Beats in Mexico, re-creates both the actual events and the literary imaginings of Kerouac in what became the writer\u2019s revelatory terrain. Providing Kerouac an immediate spiritual freshness that contrasted with the staid society of the United States, Mexico was perhaps the single most important country in his life. Sourcing material from the Beat author\u2019s vast output and revealing correspondence, Garc\u00eda-Robles vividly describes the milieu and people that influenced him while sojourning there and the circumstances between his myriad arrivals and departures. From the writer\u2019s initial euphoria upon encountering Mexico and its fascinating tableau of humanity to his tortured relationship with a Mexican prostitute who inspired his novella Tristessa, this volume chronicles Kerouac\u2019s often illusory view of the country while realistically detailing the incidents and individuals that found their way into his poetry and prose. In juxtaposing Kerouac\u2019s idyllic image of Mexico with his actual experiences of being extorted, assaulted, and harassed, Garc\u00eda-Robles offers the essential Mexican perspective. Finding there the spiritual nourishment he was starved for in the United States, Kerouac held fast to his idealized notion of the country, even as the stories he recounts were as much literary as real.
Jorge Garcia-Robles is a Mexican novelist, critic, and translator. He is the author of The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico (Minnesota, 2013) as well as the translator of Kerouac's Lonesome Traveler, Tristessa, Mexico City Blues, Maggie Cassidy, and "Cerrada Medellin Blues" into Spanish. Daniel C. Schechter is an American writer and translator living in the Netherlands.
Contents Preface to the U.S. Edition Chapter 1 Under the Sign of Pisces Belly of the Beast A Supra-Literary Trinity The American Friend Chapter 2 Magical Mystical Tour Chapter 3 This Land Is Our Land A Brief, Disheartening Trip Chapter 4 The Sorrow of Jack Kerouac Chapter 5 Adios Tristessa Traveling Partners Chapter 6 Rapture in Mexico After the Landslide Chapter 7 The Grain That Could Not Be the Miller End of the Road The Final Hitch The Disguise of Innocence Note on Sources