Tristessa: Facsimile of 1960 Edition

Tristessa: Facsimile of 1960 Edition

by Jack Kerouac


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2018 Reprint of 1960 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition software. Tristessa is a novella by Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac set in Mexico City. It is based on his relationship with a Mexican prostitute (the title character). The woman's real name was Esperanza ("hope" in Spanish); Kerouac changed her name to Tristessa ("tristeza" means sadness in Spanish and Portuguese).

Allen Ginsberg, in describing the book, wroteof the book as "...a narrative meditation studying a hen, a rooster, a dove, a cat, a dog, family meat, and a ravishing, ravished junkie lady". In Tristessa Kerouac attempts to sketch for the reader a picture of quiet transcendence in hectic and sometimes dangerous circumstances. He chronicles Tristessa's addiction to morphine and impoverished life with descriptions tinged with elements of her saintly beauty and her innocence.

Early in the novel, Kerouac attempts to communicate his Buddhist beliefs. These beliefs become entangled as a metaphor in the unfamiliar culture and language that Kerouac tries to grasp and connect with in the story. The contrast between the initial reaction that the reader may have of the impoverished, marginalized life of Tristessa and the self-destructive nature of her addiction contrast with the beauty of Kerouac's descriptions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684222896
Publisher: Martino Fine Books
Publication date: 12/13/2018
Pages: 98
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American novelist, poet, and painter most closely associated with the Beat Movement of the 1950s. His most famous works include On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Big Sur, several of which have been adapted into films. In 1959 Kerouac released his collection of poems Mexico City Blues. Few authors can claim as large an influence on American culture as Jack Kerouac and his examinations of youth and rebellion.

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