Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac is a short, semi-autographical novella about a trip the author took to Paris and Brittany to look into his family’s genealogy. Full, chock full, of interesting (though sometimes irrelevant) facts that display Kerouac’s fluency in French and knowledge of history, language, art, Buddhism, and literature. It is saved from pretention by the loose and easy writing style. Although written after he returned to Florida (didn’t know that he lived in Florida), it reads as if it was written as notes while he was traveling. Maybe most of it was.

The style is effective. And it seems like it could be emulated. I am inspired to try to write like him, just as Hemingway’s sparse but poetic style makes me want to imitate him.