Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Strange Solitary Mystic: Tracing the Dark Night of the Soul in Kerouac’s Desolation Angels and Big Sur

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Religion and the Arts

Past scholarship of American beat author Jack Kerouac’s novels has primarily focused on examinations of his “spontaneous prose” style and the influence of Buddhism on his writing. However, the recent availability to scholars of Kerouac’s private papers indicates that the Catholic themes and imagery in his writing were the result of a conscious and ongoing engagement with Catholicism, rather than relics of his cultural heritage. These Catholic threads take on greater clarity when Kerouac’s novels are read as he intended: as volumes in a larger, omnibus work. This essay examines two novels—Desolation Angels and Big Sur—through the framework of the dark night of the soul, as illuminated by the Spanish Carmelite mystic St. John of the Cross. The journey begun in the Washington state mountains in Desolation Angels and concluded by the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur chronicles one man’s quest to reunite with the divine and presents a compelling argument for Kerouac’s position as a Catholic writer.

Affiliations: 1: St. Andrews University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Religion and the Arts — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation