Title

The Sound of Silence: The Influence of Mahayana Buddhism on Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues

Authors

Ian Brown

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

It is well known that Mahayana Buddhism exerted a major influence upon the subject matter of the writings of Jack Kerouac. It is little known however, that Mahayana also had an influence upon the formal qualities of Kerouac's work. In "Mexico City Blues", Kerouac's dithyramb on Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddhist influence causes him to completely turn away from distinctions...and therefore words (used to communicate meaning). In doing so, Kerouac creates a piece of work that is both in concert with Buddhism, and forces a Buddhist reading upon the reader.

Advisor

Richard Berg

Department

ecls

Support

Ford Research Endowment

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