Jack Kerouac: Big Sur

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

Big Sur traces the exploits, thoughts and feelings of a narrator, Jack Duluoz, in the grip of a series of mental disruptions induced by alcohol. Duluoz is depicted as careering out of control, as he experiences ever more severe bouts of delirium tremens each time he comes to the end of a drinking bout in a prolonged series over the six-week period covered by the book. A friend, Lorenz Monsanto, has offered him the use of an isolated cabin in Raton Canyon, Big Sur. Duluoz travels West to take up this offer, yet, instead of quietly slipping off to the cabin, he instead broadcasts his arrival, precipitating an enormous drinking binge in San Francisco. He finally makes it to the cabin, stays briefly and returns there twice, but on e…

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Citation:
Ellis, R. J.. "Big Sur". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 April 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6302, accessed 02 September 2014.]