About the book:
New York, The Viking Press 1958
8vo., original rubbed and slightly bumped black cloth lettered in silver and green, in the dust jacket designed by Bill English. Jacket slightly rubbed and frayed, small tears to head and tail of spine and another from top edge of rear panel. Internally without issues. A very good copy.
In The Dharma Bums, Kerouac presents and investigates different sides of the renewal theme. The novel is at once Buddhist, as well as western.
American. The protagonist, Ray Smith, quests for meaning and for a new start where Americans have traditionally gone to seek it: the West. Although the frontier is gone, the West still has its vast wild country, and most of the important scenes in The Dharma Bums take place in the wilderness or near wilderness, or in reference to the difference between it and modern American civilization. The book in this sense can be placed within the tradition of western American literature. Further, in a larger dimension of renewal, Kerouac's novel comments politically on late 1950's America-parallel to Ray Smith's personal search for a new way of life, The Dharma Bums in part calls for a new nation. (Jack Kerouac's Pursuit of The American West by Dan Fliegel)