Thursday, July 31, 2008

Big Sur

Now, we've already identified an important concept when it comes to American authors: they roll in style. Even if they didn't have a lot of money, these spirited folk seem to know where to go to draw energy and inspiration. These theory definitely applies to Big Sur, California, a gorgeous national park on the coast where the Beat authors used to hang out, doing Lord knows what, and also writing. Jack Kerouac wrote a novel titled after this coastal oasis and it was in Big Sur that Lawrence Ferlinghetti found refuge when City Lights was ransacked by the cops for publishing copies of Howl.

On this trip, the locals led us to a restaurant/bar called Nepenthe. The word "nepenthe" first appeared in the fourth book of Homer's Odyssey and it literally means "one who chases away sorrow." It is a magical potion given to Helen by an Egyptian Queen and it became associated with something that is used to prepare the drug opium. I'm assuming that the name Nepenthe probably drew the artists, hippies and Beats to the bar, but the gorgeous view, outdoor fire pit, good food and drinks definitely got them to stay. It was lovely there and I could have hung out for a good while.

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