A Map of Mexico City Blues: Jack Kerouac as Poet


In this pioneering critical study of Jack Kerouac's book-length poem, Mexico City Blues- apoetic parallel to the writer's fictional saga, the Duluoz Legend- James T. Jones uses a rich and flexible neoformalist approach to argue his case for the importance of Kerouac's rarely studied poem. After a brief summary of Kerouac's poetic career, Jones embarks on a thorough reading of Mexico City Blues from several different perspectives: he first focuses on Kerouac's use of autobiography in the poem and then discusses how Kerouac's various trips to Mexico, his conversion to Buddhism, his theory of spontaneous poetics, and his attraction to blues and to jazz influenced the theme, structure, and sound of Mexico City Blues.

Jones's multidimensional explication suggests the formal and thematic complexity of Kerouac's long poem and demonstrates the major contribution Mexico City Blues makes to post- World War II American poetry and poetics.

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