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Posted June 6, 2001
Jack Kerouac's greatest work
In Visions of Cody, Kerouac's spontaneous prose reaches its highest level. A draft of what would eventually become On the Road, VOC stands alone as a brilliant evocation of Cody (Dean in OTR). Forget about plot or chronology---Kerouac flings himself far beyond the restrictions of narrative conventions here. Despite this, his liberated prose never approaches the pedantic egocentrism of Joyce. Kerouac's writing is accessible even at its most experimental. In VOC we see his incredible talent for perceiving beauty in everything from a lowlife drifter to a depot urinal. This profound romanticism is refreshing in light of the tired, jaded cynicism of his twentieth century peers. VOC is a vision of a pure and passionate America, where an artist can still quest for truth and beauty, even in the wasteland.
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