On The Road by Jack Kerouac (book review and outfit post)


When I picked up On the Road the first thing that struck me was the unique way it was written. I was mesmerized by the Kerouac's prose that felt so much as poetry. The novel is dynamic, one event happening after another, one crisis followed by another.  If you miss even one paragraph (because your mind wonders someplace else) , you may totally got lost in the events. There is something very raw about this novel, perhaps because it was supposedly written in only 3 weeks. This strange mix of poetry and rawness really fascinated me. Naturally, I knew about Kerouac, the beat generation and all that. I read with fascination and interest until I felt that something was bugging me. Something didn't feel right. What is that, you might ask?




The novel is brilliantly written, the characters feel very much alive and there is so much freshness in it. You can almost hear the jazz music, smell the fresh morning air somewhere in American wilderness, feel like you're there in that car travelling with the protagonist of this novel. You can feel the excitement of the characters, their nervous energy and their search for something. Everything is happening so fast, but it feels right. The words flow but they have a sense of direction. 






Kerouac based his characters on real people. The novel focuses on adventures of two young men, Dean and Sal. Dean was based on Cassady, a friend of Kerouac while Sal was based on Kerouac himself. At first I found their friendship to be terribly touching, but as the novel progresses I started to wonder about it. What was Dean really like? Was he really a dark angel? Was Sal a dark angel? What was his impact on people? What is the nature of relationship between Sal and Dean? Their connection seems to be the foundation stone of the novel. All the other relationships seem to come and go, but they friendship is what remains. Or is it? The more I read, the more it all seemed uncertain, but I kept my concentration on the plot because it does take a focus mind to follow all that madness. Fortunately, this type of madness is so compelling to read about ...perhaps it is because of the way the novel is written and maybe just maybe it is because it is pure at heart. Whatever the reason may be,  it makes you feel like you can't resist it.



 


It is like the writer has discovered a new way of writing and he himself is crazy about it. You feel like you must like it as well. What could I possibly dislike? Yet, as I progresses I felt a feeling of tiredness coming over me. As nearer I was to finishing this novel, the more tired with it I felt. How can a masterpiece make me feel tired?  I was puzzled with my own reaction to it. Who am I to say there is something wrong with the novel? After all, it is considered (by many) to be one of the best novels of the last century. I admire the way it is written, the boldness of it. I'm sure that the author experimented with different techniques of writing. It is clear he has put so much energy into this novel. He may have written it in only 3 weeks ( I personally believe that), but he must have been carrying it in his soul for much longer. They say Kerouac used to carry little notebooks and write stuff down during his travels. That explains that natural flow this novel has. I also read that he was inspired by long letters written by his friend Cassidy and that he even used parts of them in his writing. Autobiographical writing can be tricky, but as far as writing goes I think he got away with it. As I said, I do think the novel is exceptionally well written.



As fascinating as this novel is, I must say I expected more. I expected more depth, more growth, more answers and  less hysteria, madness and semi-conclusions. Yes, I do think the characters are described perfectly and very convincing but what is it all about? They are flawed, but what are their redeeming qualities? Kerouac insisted on catholic mysticism, but I don't see in the novel. I'm sorry, but I've read a lot of catholic mystics  and I don't see any mystical experiences in this novel. Poetical? Yes. Strong? Yes. Raw? Yes. Powerful in its rawness and poetry? Yes. Yes. Yes. Spiritual? I'm sorry but I'm not so sure. I believe his spiritual experiences were somewhat imagined. If not imagined, then exaggerated. He imagined himself and his friends to be saints of some-sort. It takes a lot more than contempt for the world to make one a saint. 'Experiences' don't make you a saint, not even 'spiritual experiences'. It is how you deal with those experiences and how you build yourself.



That all being said, I must honestly say that I liked this novel. Something didn't seem right, but maybe that is how it should be. I think it is a good sign that it made me think so much. This review took forever to write. I liked it but I'm not sure that I can say that I loved it, perhaps because I expected more. I could bet around the bush, but I won't. I find it lacks depth. It is not that the characters are immoral. I don't think that literature is supposed to send a 'moral message'. The protagonist of this novel are certainly often so selfish that it is unbelievable.  That's not what has been bugging me, although it might be one of the things that made me feel tired while I was reading this novel. Not that I didn't enjoy reading it, yet I did feel  at times like I have to invest a special effort to read it. The writing feels fluid, but it is fluid in an irregular way, if that make sense. Imagine sea when there is a storm. Reading it felt like sailing while there is a storm. That's the best metaphor I can think of at the moment.





The author claims the protagonists are on a spiritual journey and I do believe he thinks that but I'm not sure whether it is really a novel about finding God. They may be set to search for spiritual experiences but often they end up searching for kicks, don't they? Experimenting with and misusing drugs and alcohol to get their 'experiences'. I'm not saying that anyone who made mistakes is a bad person, but their craziness is a bit too much at times. Too selfish, too self-centered. There was even a point in the book when I thought to myself that these two guys are latent homosexuals (Cassady attraction to teenage girls seems to suggest that) but I may be wrong. I'm probably wrong, but I must admit there was a cynic in me that reawakened a few times while I was reading this (and I'm not that keen on cynicism so maybe I was even irritated it awakened). It is obviously not as simple as that and their problems wouldn't disappear if our protagonists hooked up. What is clear, however, is that they have a very strange relationship to woman. What is really changed at the end of the novel? What is its message? I'm not sure. That is the part that bugs me. Not the immorality of the characters or their selfish actions ( and yet with all their craziness I must admit there is innocence in them) but the feeling that the novel is lacking a message. Are characters a message of their own? Do they capture the essence of the beat? Are our protagonists the purity that needs no explanation?  Perhaps not as much as the author himself proposes, but there is purity in their hearts. It is not a spiritual journey, but it is an emotional and touching one. In the end, I'm happy I've read this novel and I do think it is a fine work of literature. I just don't think it is one of the best novels of the last century. Saying it is might just be pushing it too hard.

Now, about the outfit. This is partly a fashion blog and I really don't mind saying something about this outfit. This winter jacket I have had for a long time and I still love it. This blazer was bought at second hand shop in Split. It is one of my favourite second hand purchases. The jeans and the shoes were bought this month and I'm happy with them as well. I think the star of this combo is this red cap. It was one of the first things my husband bought for me. He brought it one night when we met for drinks. We were just starting to date and I thought it was such an original present. Now, that I think of it, my husband was always like that, original without even trying to be original. No flowers and fancy presents, always something from the heart and at the right time. Very different man from the protagonist of the novel I reviewed today.  It is surprising how much man find it to connect with women. Well, fortunately my husband isn't one of them.






make up information : foundation- L'oreal True Match, eyebrow: Candice eyebrow kit, eyeshadow: Essence,  mascara: Essence, lip pencil: Essence femme fatale, lipstick: Avon 



outfit information: jacket-no name, blazer: second hand, turtleneck- mana, jeans- piazza Italia, shoes-no name, bag- no name












Are you curious about the location? This is river Buna, it is situated near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the perfect place for a little getaway. I blogged about it many many times. I visit it very often, so it only makes sense that it appears on my blog regularly and repeatedly. You can visit my old post herehere, here , here , here and here if you want to see more. That is all for today. Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend!















Comments

  1. Jeans<3
    __________________________________
    www.justynapolska.com
    Fashion&Beauty Expert

    ReplyDelete
  2. Predivan post! Kapica je preslatka! :)

    If you want please visit my blogs, it means so much to me:
    NEW POST --->http://staliaisbae.blogspot.ba/2016/02/17th-episode-got-me-like.html
    NEW POST --->http://living-like-v.blogspot.ba/2016/02/spring-accessories-shoes-makeup-collab.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. The post is fantastic! I loove it so much:)
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    theprintedsea.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. SOunds wonderful dear :) Nice shots too!

    ARedLip&Love

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  5. I really like the photo of the water where you can see the rocks at the bottom, so pretty :)

    xx Sera | STARDUSTBOHEMIAN.COM

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a cute hat! The pictures are wonderful Ivana ❤️
    xxx
    www.travelera.es

    ReplyDelete
  7. Buna je baš dobro mjesto za fotošuting :)
    Sviđa mi se kapica, lijepo ti stoji.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hvala draga, mjesto je odlično za opuštanje.

      Delete
  8. Cute beanie :)
    BLOG M&MFASHIONBITES : http://mmfashionbites.blogspot.gr/
    Maria V.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Divan post, ti, priroda, knjiga, fotografije... pogotovo ona tebe i .... <3

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post hun. You always take wonderful photos.
    BEAUTETUDE

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am totally digging your pants Ivana! U look the cutest!
    Thestyletune.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. That was quite an in-depth review, dear. Never read it myself but judging by the reviews I have heard from different types of people, it would most likely annoy me more than give me any insight. And right now, in my great struggle to return to reading books without words like "KABLAMALALALAM" and "BADOOOOM!!!!" drawn in pretty colors, I need something I know will be friendly. Totally adorable in that red hat, what a cutie!

    All Things Bright and Lovely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, this one isn't exactly reader-friendly. I'm glad I read it but I'm not blown away by it or anything like that. I think that most people who praise it so much have only read a few passages from it:)

      Delete
  13. great post! such a fun and informative post! thank you for sharing :)
    xx Jamie | With Love, Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such a lovely place and cool outfit! xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Ivana, it´s very funny, I read "on the road" just a few month ago, but I read the original scroll, where the protagonists are Karouak and Neal Cassady themselfs. I had the same feelings as you: a great novel, but I felt a little tiredness myself too. There is a certain redundance and I agree, it lacks depth.

    Now, your outfit ... it´s georgeous again and the star is of course your cute red cap. It´s so sweet from your husband to make such a lovely present.

    xxxxx Nadine

    http://nadinecd.blogspot.co.at

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that must be interesting to read, I mean the original. I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt the same about this novel.

      yes, my husband is very sweet to give me such a nice present.

      Delete
  16. Love it!! Just followed you on Bloglovin!
    Dora www.BangsBang.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. you look so happy
    LOVE IT
    kiss
    new post http://sarameirelesthesnowwhite.blogspot.pt/2016/02/bomber-jacket-trend.html

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  18. Adorable pictures!
    Have a nice evening!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are an amazing writer as well as a reader!
    Interesting post and love your beanie,too!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really enjoy your book reviews and hearing your thoughts on both the writing and the story itself. I read this book back in college and it was a wild ride but I also came away from it feeling like it lacked any type of message and honestly I was a little turned off by their selfish actions. Anyhow it was interesting to read your thoughts. And you look so cozy and cute in this look :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt that way.

      Delete
  21. bellissimo questo outfit e il paesaggio!

    Leggi il mio ultimo blogpost sulle nuove tendenze della fashion week:

    http://evaredson.blogspot.it/2016/02/rodarte-fw-2016-top-5-looks.html

    xx
    Eva

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful outfit!! And beautiful photos, Ivana. You live in a wonderful spot of the world, girl.
    hugs
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

    ReplyDelete
  23. simpatico questo post!
    baci Gina

    new post
    http://f-lover-fashion-blog.blogspot.it

    ReplyDelete
  24. I always enjoy your posts about books, darling, which is funny because I'm not actually much of a reader myself! But the way you talk about books is really engaging and your passion for them really shines through these reviews - which is what makes them so special, and such a joy to read. :) <3 The book sounds amazing and I can't believe it was written in only three weeks! Your outfit is so lovely as always, and the red cap is so cute and such a thoughtful gift from your other half. :) <3 I'm just back from my blogging break, and will be sure to catch up on all your lovely posts! <3 Hope you're well. :)

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com/

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think your reviews are great, they are so in depth. I think I struggled doing my reviews and book posts for a while because I wanted to say something detailed and profound and not just summarise the book but struggled to have the time to do that- I can remember a book when I have read it, but I struggle to put into words, the minutiae of it! This book now intrigues me- I've never read any of his books-I've heard the name but was never sure who he was!x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it takes me a while to write my reviews, it is indeed hard to write about books. As much as I love literature, I must confess that it always takes a special effort to write something sensible about any novel/poem etc.

      Delete
  26. Lovely blog, followed ya, would love if you could follow back =)

    http://beautorgeousworld.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  27. I usually don't read fiction mainly because I feel like you described reading this book, "sailing while there is a storm." Non fiction is actually easier for me, which is usually the opposite for most. But I enjoyed reading your review. I also love that your husband bought you that hat. It's so nice when a gift comes from the heart, instead of the "fanciness." It looks amazing with your outfit. And the river looks like such a peaceful place. The water is amazingly clear looking. This is a beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading it :)
    ~Lili
    www.thefashionsalt.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to read non fiction too...but fiction is my first love I guess:)

      yes, it is great when a gift comes from the heart.

      Delete
  28. It sounds like you have a "love-hate" relationship with the book! The plot definitely does sound interesting although it can be emotionally draining to read it....thanks for sharing and love your cute hat!

    Prudence
    www.prudencepetitestyle.com

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  29. great book, I love it so much few many years (I red this book, when I was at school - 15 years ago :)))
    saturday mood

    ReplyDelete
  30. This looks absolutely wonderful, great book too :) Happy Monday doll, I hope you have a great week :) x

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  31. looks very interesting, I like the photos with this wallpaper

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  32. I've never read Kerouac yet, your post makes me wanna do it Ivana! Love your beanie too! The icing on the cake!;) And gorgeous cherry lipstick too!;)
    ♥♥♥
    Jeanne
    http://www.fashionmusingsdiary.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. The red hat and bag are such nice accessories to your outfit, and I like your flared jeans! :)

    It sounds like such an interesting book - perhaps one you need to read yourself to make up your own mind on? But I confess I hadn't heard of it before, or that it was regarded so greatly so thanks for sharing!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    ReplyDelete
  34. Kako uživam kad vidim ovako jedan kompletan post o kojem bih mogla da se raspišem i raspričam :) Moram priznati da me je knjiga zaintrigirala, uprkos nekim činjenicama koji si navela ili možda baš zbog njih ;) Divna lokacija, kombinacija, a posebno kapica :) Stoji ti savršeno. Predivno si našminkana, tako sveže i sa ukusom, onako kako volim :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hvala ti puno:) da, knjiga je nekako teška za opisati, valjda sam se zato i raspisala. Što se tiče šminke, moram priznati da sam i ja zadovoljna, još da imam volje ovako svaki dan:)

      Delete
  35. thank you for such a thorough and insightfuk review. I haven't read this book yet and your review got me curious about it

    http://www.pinkoolaid.com/

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sono sempre interessanti le tue recensioni sui libri Ivana e.... come ti sta bene quel cappello, che bei primi piani!!!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

    My Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  37. you always got such great locations on your pictures. Love this! Greetings Ela

    ReplyDelete
  38. Have a nice day too Ivana! ;)
    ♥♥♥
    Jeanne
    http://www.fashionmusingsdiary.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Qual libro sembra davvero interssante, mi piacciono i racconti che non ti fanno staccare il naso dalle pagine!^^
    Che carina che sei con il cappellino Ivana! :D
    Baci!
    S
    http://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.it/

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love the photo of you peering over the book, what a lovely scene you've painted here Ivana - there's nothing so relaxing as reading something outdoors with nature! This hat is so sweet on you too, hope you're keeping warm over there! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you, it is not very cold anymore, but I still have a lot of 'keep warm' outfits to share:)

      Delete
  41. I love that you're doing book reviews, Ivana and this book sounds captivating! And I adore that flare jeans on you, it makes your legs super long!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you:) I've always had the thing for flare jeans, maybe because I wanted that long leg effect and they certainly do help to create it.

      Delete
  42. Great look, dear!
    Have a nice evening!
    Angela Donava
    http://www.lookbooks.fr/

    ReplyDelete
  43. che belle foto, e bel posto! Delizioso il cappellino!
    www.alessandrastyle.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dear Ivana, I see your husband loved you really from the very first time! What a lovely gift this red cap - it suits you simply fantastic and I love also the rest of your look. Your purchase of the blazer in the second hand shop was a good one. It looks already so spring like in your region - and very beautiful. About the novel you made me now absolutely curious and I loved it to read what you wrote about this novel which is seen is a master piece. But I would also have thought about this book if it had made me that tired like it happened to you. And I have to admit everything you wrote about this book sounds very familiar to me that I must now immediately check my book shelves if I own this book, too :)
    Have a wonderful week, dear Ivana!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Rena, it is possible you have it!
      ...and yes my husband was always very sweet.

      Delete
  45. Bellissima Ivana, sei deliziosa con quel cappello, uno stile anni 70 che ti dona molto. Ho adorato quel libro, sai ? Baci

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion blog

    ReplyDelete
  46. Belli sia gli accessori che i jeans :)
    Nuovo post da me
    <<< tr3ndygirl fashion blog >>>
    buona giornata, un bacio

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love this post!! Thanks for sharing. I've just updated my Blog, you should check it out!

    Kisses,
    Mai

    http://ohiamiht.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  48. Obozavam tvoje vidjenje romana, bas nas zainteresujes. Kapica ti je preslatka i savrseno pristaje uz makeup, a i traperice zvonastog kroja uvek izgledaju lepo.

    Veliki pozdrav

    ReplyDelete
  49. Lovely photos of you, and in such a beautiful location! I remember the name from our Foreign Literature course at the university, but not sure I've read anything by this author. I don't know what you are looking for in books, Ivana, but I know that I'm looking for is an uplifting message - a journey that brings the author and his characters to a new way of looking at things. Very often, in what considered to be great literature, is a well written confused message - emotional, sensitive, talented, and very confused. And when you're confused, it's impossible to bring your story to a satisfying conclusion. I wonder if that's what happened to Kerouac's novel. I'm not insisting on this of course. :) But it's like you said - it's what you do with your experiences, not the experiences themselves, but your inner work and the result of this work, that's what counts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you Natalia. I know what you mean...sometimes literature isn't uplifting at all. That is why we always need to choose 'the right moment' to read a certain book and not force ourselves to read something that isn't relevant for us at that point of our life.

      Delete
  50. Oh another adventure again :) Thank you for sharing this fantastic place and I love your outfit. I always adore your blog :)

    Love,
    Irish

    http://www.beausian.com/

    ReplyDelete

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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