Jack Kerouac: Satori in Paris

(639 words)
  • R. J. Ellis (University of Birmingham)

Satori in Paris is a garrulous first-person account of a brief visit to France. It opens by proposing that the visit precipitated a “satori” and proposes a series of possible moments when this may have occurred (the satori in question is a Zen satori – an illumination or enlightenment in one's state of consciousness). But the various incidents on his French travels identified by the first person narrator as perhaps providing the “‘sudden illumination'” or “‘sudden awakening'” (7) seem relatively insignificant. Instead they constitute lightweight anecdotes, despite the title's sonorous promise of enlightenment.

Satori in Paris therefore becomes a rather inconclusive account of the …

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Citation:
Ellis, R. J.. "Satori in Paris". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21642, accessed 20 September 2014.]