Saturday, August 07, 2010

And the award for most gratuitous/best butler deployment in a review goes to...

By then Kerouac had discovered Buddhism, and this is where things begin to get thick for the reader of these letters. Two stoned white guys writing almost exclusively about dhyana and the like — and I can think of no better way to describe the long middle section of this book — are generally interesting only to each other. “Neal begins there is no beginning and end to the world, the karmic ­etheric akasha essence substance vibrating continuously in all the billion universes and our atman-entities rushing around” is a typical passage, the like of which made me wish I had a butler standing behind me exploding paper bags every time I nodded.
—Blake Bailey on Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters, NYTBR

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