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Visions of Cody is derived from experimental spontaneous prose inserts that Kerouac added to the original manuscript of On the Road in 1951-52. Part of the novel is a fast-forward recapitulation of the events described in On the Road, which was also about Kerouac and Cassady. When Kerouac appeared on The Steve Allen Show in 1959, he secretly read from the introduction to the then-unpublished Visions of Cody although he was supposedly reading from On The Road, the book he was holding.

The first section of the book is essentially a collection of short stream-of-consciousness essays, which Kerouac called “sketches”, many simply describing elements of Duluoz’s (Kerouac’s) post-World War II New York City environment, from the texture and smells of a lunch counter to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, or minor events like the decision to masturbate in a public restroom—all interlaced with Kerouac’s internal dialogue. Along the way through these descriptions, Duluoz meanders towards a decision to go visit Cody in San Francisco.

The second section consists mainly of the transcription of taped conversations between Kerouac and Cassady (and occasionally “Evelyn”—Cassady’s last wife, Carolyn and various friends) that extended over five nights as they drank and smoked marijuana. This is followed by a brief section entitled “Imitation of the Tape,” a writing experiment by Kerouac in which he attempted to work from the spontaneity and speech patterns of the tape. The remainder of the book contains Kerouac’s recounting of his travels with Cassady and the effect they had on their spiraling relationship. WIKIPEDIA

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juni 11th, 2014 at 8:00 am

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