The Dharma Bums (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141184883: The Dharma Bums (Penguin Modern Classics)

A witty, moving philosophical novel, Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums is a journey of self-discovery through the lens of Zen Buddhist thought. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ann Douglas.

Following the explosive energy of On the Road, the book that put the Beat Genration on the literary map - and Jack Kerouac on the bestseller list - comes The Dharma Bums, in which Kerouac charts the spiritual quest of a group of friends in search of Dharma, or Truth. Ray Smith and his friend Japhy, along with Morley the yodeller, head off into the high Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude and experience the Zen way of life. But in wildly Bohemian San Francisco, with its poetry jam sessions, marathon drinking bouts and experiments in 'yabyum', they find the ascetic route distinctly hard to follow.

Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven.

If you enjoyed The Dharma Bums, you might like Kerouac's On the Road, also available in Penguin Classics.

'A vivid evocation of part of our time'

New York Post

'A descriptive excitement unmatched since the days of Thomas Wolfe'

The New York Times Book Review

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From the Back Cover:

Ray Smith is a coast-to-coast, freight-hopping poet and drifter, at odds with urban life and middle-class existence (‘all that dumb white machinery in the kitchen’). He meets a kindred spirit in Japhy Rider, a Buddhist drop-out, who enlists Ray into a regime of crazy, purifying hikes up the peaks of the High Sierra and non-stop Zen Free Love Lunacy orgies. ‘Two dissimilar monks on the one path’, their haphazard, often hilarious search for the contentment of ‘dharma’, Buddhism’s all-pervading, supreme principle of life, is pure Kerouac.

'The Dharma Bums'‘ cry for a ‘great rucksack revolution’ in which the country’s youth would cast off the everyday, take to the open road and live the Buddhist way, inspired a whole generation of post-war Americans to search for spiritual knowledge and self-transcendence.

“The Beat Generation now looks quaint to today’s loose freaks who take for granted stances that the rebels of the Fifties only strained toward. But if the Beat lifestyle and attitudes were essentially crude experiments leading to the cultural revolution of the Sixties, it’s still certain that what sparse literature the counter-culture has produced sings nowhere as vibrant, strong and original as in Kerouac.”
ROLLING STONE

“Kerouac’s energy is contagious, his compassion and concern are the genuine homespun article.”
GUARDIAN

Many of Kerouac’s books are available in Flamingo, including 'Big Sur', 'Lonesome Traveler' and 'Vanity of Duluoz'.

About the Author:

Jack Kerouac wrote a number of hugely influential and popular novels. He is remembered as one of the key figures of the legendary Beat generation. As much as anything, he came to represent a philosophy, a way of life.

Ann Douglas is Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She has published numerous essays, articles and book reviews on American culture in papers and periodicals such as The New York Times, The Nation and Slate, and introductions for Little Women, Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Subterraneans among others. Prof. Douglas teaches twentieth-century American literature, film, music, and politics, with an emphasis on the Cold War era, African-American culture, and post-colonial approaches. She is currently at work on a book, Noir Nation: Cold War U.S. Culture 1945-1960.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Dharma Bums appeared just one year after the author s explosive On The Road had put the Beat Generation on the literary map and Kerouac on the best-seller list. The same expansiveness, humour and contagious zest for life that sparked the earlier novels sparks this one too, but through a more cohesive story. The books follow two young men engaged in a passionate search for dharma or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen way, which takes them climbing into the high sierras to seek the lesson of solitude. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141184883

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Dharma Bums appeared just one year after the author s explosive On The Road had put the Beat Generation on the literary map and Kerouac on the best-seller list. The same expansiveness, humour and contagious zest for life that sparked the earlier novels sparks this one too, but through a more cohesive story. The books follow two young men engaged in a passionate search for dharma or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen way, which takes them climbing into the high sierras to seek the lesson of solitude. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141184883

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