Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

At the End of the Road

Jack Kerouac in Mexico

2014
Author:

Jorge García-Robles
Translated by Daniel C. Schechter

At the End of the Road

Chronicles Jack Kerouac’s experiences and inspirations in Mexico

Jorge García-Robles vividly describes the milieu and people that influenced Jack Kerouac while sojourning in Mexico and re-creates both the actual events and the literary imaginings of Kerouac in what became the writer’s revelatory terrain. In juxtaposing Kerouac’s idyllic image of Mexico with his actual experiences of being extorted, assaulted, and harassed, García-Robles offers the essential Mexican perspective.

With such a wealth of literature concerning Kerouac already in existence, García-Robles doesn’t concentrate on revisiting the facts. Instead, he uses quotes from Kerouac’s fiction to trace his subject’s inner life and place Mexico within the larger context of the famed novelist’s artistic evolution.

Publishers Weekly

“We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic.” Mexico, an escape route, inspiration, and ecstatic terminus of the celebrated novel On the Road, was crucial to Jack Kerouac’s creative development. In this dramatic and highly compelling account, Jorge García-Robles, leading authority on the Beats in Mexico, re-creates both the actual events and the literary imaginings of Kerouac in what became the writer’s revelatory terrain.

Providing Kerouac an immediate spiritual freshness that contrasted with the staid society of the United States, Mexico was perhaps the single most important country in his life. Sourcing material from the Beat author’s vast output and revealing correspondence, García-Robles vividly describes the milieu and people that influenced him while sojourning there and the circumstances between his myriad arrivals and departures. From the writer’s initial euphoria upon encountering Mexico and its fascinating tableau of humanity to his tortured relationship with a Mexican prostitute who inspired his novella Tristessa, this volume chronicles Kerouac’s often illusory view of the country while realistically detailing the incidents and individuals that found their way into his poetry and prose.

In juxtaposing Kerouac’s idyllic image of Mexico with his actual experiences of being extorted, assaulted, and harassed, García-Robles offers the essential Mexican perspective. Finding there the spiritual nourishment he was starved for in the United States, Kerouac held fast to his idealized notion of the country, even as the stories he recounts were as much literary as real.

At the End of the Road

Jorge García-Robles is a Mexican novelist, critic, and translator. He is author of The Stray Bullet: William S. Burroughs in Mexico (Minnesota, 2013) as well as the translator of Kerouac’s Lonesome Traveler, Tristessa, Mexico City Blues, Maggie Cassidy, and “Cerrada Medellín Blues” into Spanish.

Daniel C. Schechter is an American writer and translator living in the Netherlands.

At the End of the Road

With such a wealth of literature concerning Kerouac already in existence, García-Robles doesn’t concentrate on revisiting the facts. Instead, he uses quotes from Kerouac’s fiction to trace his subject’s inner life and place Mexico within the larger context of the famed novelist’s artistic evolution.

Publishers Weekly

At the End of the Road

Contents

Preface to the U.S. Edition

Chapter 1
Under the Sign of Pisces
Belly of the Beast
A Supra-Literary Trinity
The American Friend

Chapter 2
Magical Mystical Tour

Chapter 3
This Land Is Our Land
A Brief, Disheartening Trip

Chapter 4
The Sorrow of Jack Kerouac

Chapter 5
Adios Tristessa
Traveling Partners

Chapter 6
Rapture in Mexico
After the Landslide

Chapter 7
The Grain That Could Not Be the Miller
End of the Road
The Final Hitch
The Disguise of Innocence

Note on Sources