One of the renowned Beat writer’s most formally inventive books, Mexico City Blues is Jack Kerouac’s essential work of lyric verse, now reissued following his centenary celebration.
Written between 1954 and 1957, and published originally by Grove Press in 1959, Mexico City Blues is Kerouac’s most important verse work. It incorporates all the elements of his theory of spontaneous composition and his interest in Buddhism. Memories, fantasies, dreams, and surrealistic free association are lyrically combined in the loose format inspired by jazz and the blues. Written while Kerouac was living in Mexico City, and with references to William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, and Bill Garver, this exciting book in Kerouac’s oeuvre is an original and moving epic of sound, rhythm, and religion.
“A great masterpiece, a singing religious poem.” — Michael McClure
“A series of improvisations, notes, a shorthand of perceptions and memories, having in large part the same kind of word-play and rhythmic invention to be found in his prose.” — Robert Creeley, Poetry
“What seems to me to emerge at the end is a voice of remarkable kindness and gentleness, an engaging and modest good humor and a quite genuine spiritual simplicity.”—Anthony Hecht,Hudson Review