“With every book you go back to school. You become a student. You become an investigative reporter. You spend a little time learning what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes.”\
Don Quixote, written in the early 17th century by Miguel de Cervantes, is considered an influential work of literature, and as such, is included on many recommended book reading lists.
I slogged through the thick two-volume missive, on which is based the play and movie, Man of La Mancha, discovering many thought-provoking ideas that enriched my mind. It was well-worth my reading times.
But while Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is on just about every list of the 100 best travel books, which is a genre I read prolifically and enthusiastically, I haven’t been able to slog through this book. I’ve tried three different times with little success.
I fall asleep, I lay the book aside and somehow it gets lost and I never have the desire to return to it. I just don’t understand Kerouac’s kind of travel. About the only think I truly get about Kerouac and his Beat Generation is this one quote: “What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their flecks dispersing? It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and its good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
I use it on the opening page of Travels with Maggie, the travel book I’m hoping to get published soon. I suspect, however, those words might have meant something different to Kerouac than to me – just as all written words mean different things to different writers and different readers.
Something in me says I should give On the Road another try. Something else in me says or not?
Bean Pat: A pleasant and peaceful armchair journey through the Namibia Desert http://tinyurl.com/om4pmks Watch the slide show.