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Jack Kerouac was considered one of the leading writers for the Beat movement, rejecting mainstream society and indulging himself *On the Road *, also the namesake of his famous meditation and stream of consciousness epic.
His life's romantic relationships were tumultuous and curt; plus he never lived an ordinary life, eventually dying of cirrhosis of the liver at the relatively young age of 47. A common theme of his life was this concept of never settling down but being a part of continuous experiences. Today, we see a facsimile of this with Winston's postings between California, Vegas, Philippines, Taiwan, and China, making the road his home and not the places themselves, a traveling bluesman of sorts but w/o a guitar a/o any special musical ability
A difference between Kerouac and Dr Zhivago was that in the USA, one didn't need a pass to travel state to state. Even during the conservative 50s, the US was free to roam around in, unlike the Soviet Union, which brings us to Dr Yuri Zhivago, a fictitious character but one who was also a romantic and not able to be practical when it counted. In Yuri's case, he was not able to stay with his wife Tonya, as a result of this unending idealization of Lara, a married woman of a revolutionary, Pasha. Lara, however, was also a b*tch for another political hack, Komarovsky.
Right there, a bad decision, given the fact that Russia was undergoing a major civil war, where family members needed to stick together. A rule of thumb is to avoid messy political love triangles, esp when ppl were getting whacked left and right.
And then ... what was so great about Lara? She was always between a bunch of men, after all, it's not like her and Pasha had divorced.
Still, even after Tonya was out of Yuri's life (as she'd fled Russia with the kids), he couldn't swallow his pride and leave for Vladivostok with Lara, if she were to accept any assistance from Komarovsky for that exit to safety (since Lara was on a list of possible targets by the Cheka). Seriously, what kind of commitment to a woman or some 'true' love is that? Basically, he left her in the care of a dirtbag and then, spent the rest of his days, fantasizing about her.
So if you take a blend of the two characters above, you get the psyche of a Winston, an impractical dreamer who's on the road and never able to sustain a relationship beyond its fantasy parameters.
In the movie, Zhivago's final moments were in the pursuit of a street trolley, which Lara was supposedly riding, before succumbing to a fatal heart attack. Sure, the average movie goer thought it was beautiful *sad ending* but for me, it was pathetic. What about the struggle to survive, during those brutal Red-White civil war years in Vladivostok, which he didn't undertake with Lara? Isn't that a big part of what love is suppose to be about, working together for a common good? It's not just about the poems or essays.
This is why I can't accept dreamers and those who idealize love. The regular person is better off seeing hoes and enjoying himself.
Many years ago, the Best Picture of 1999, "American Beauty", telegraphed the message of Happier Abroad to the world.
Beware of long term engagements with AWs, you may find yourself in a coffin.
AB discussion thread
BTW, despite settling down with an AW, myself, the warning is still in effect.