Although he was born and raised in Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac's family was French-Canadian, a fact of which he was proud. Published in 1967, when Kerouac was at the height of his fame, this book tells the story of a ten-day visit to Paris and Brittany in search of his ancestors. On this hectic odyssey, fascinated by everything and everyone he met, from a faded French beauty in a Montparnasse gangster bar to one of his strange, foppish Breton namesakes, Kerouac experienced a feeling of transcendence, a Satori, which was to the Beat generation the culmination of all experience.… (more)
Somewhere during my ten days in Paris (and Brittany) I received an illumination of some kind that seems to've changed me again, towards what I suppose'll be my pattern for another seven years or more: in effect, a satori: the Japanese word for "sudden illumination," "sudden awakening" or simply "kick in the eye."
When God says "I Am Lived," we'll have forgotten what all the parting was about.