In defense of Kerouac's Desolation Angels
It's been said that Kerouac's later writing is pretentious or conceited, but I see it this way.
He was keeping it real. The fact was, in 1965 the Beats were experiencing recognition in magazines and newspapers. They did have their pictures taken and they were invited to dinner parties, etc. Why pretend it wasn't happening?
He implies that he and his friends are "enlightened" only in the sense that, this was the whole point. Poets and artists who were taking Transcendentalism to the next level; recognizing the divine spark in all of us. Jack also shows that he's human; he has his faults and doesn't try to hide them. He's just telling the story.