Sunday, December 8, 2019

I provide a Jack Kerouac quote and you figure out the book (3rd in a series)

This is the 3rd in a series of posts where I provide a quote from one of Jack Kerouac's books and you figure out which one. Post your answer as a comment. Here's the passage:

So Cody is the Conductor of the Heavenly Train, and we'll all get our tickets pinched by him because we were all good lambs believed in roses and lamps and eyes of the moon-- 
                                     Water from the moon
                                     Comes all too soon

Good luck! Remember our policy on comments (over there on the right).

Friday, December 6, 2019

We've reached 990,000 pageviews on The Daily Beat!

We started tracking pageviews on this Kerouac-obsessed blog back in May 2010, and we have now reached over 990,000 (990,258 to be exact as I type this). As promised in the past, we will do something special when we hit a million pageviews, which should be in the next couple of months. I know it's a small number compared to real blogs and social media sites, but I'll take it.

Kristen Stewart topless in On The Road from way back in 2011 continues to lead the way on the top ten list, but the list has morphed a little bit since last time we posted about it. Below is the list. You can find the post referenced by its date and title by looking around in the archive available over there on the right.

I'm glad to see my post about The Duluoz Legend making the top ten list since I put some research and thought into that particular post (as opposed to the one about Kristen Stewart's tits). I don't know why my The Dharma Bums chapters in one sentence are popular, but two of them made the list. It makes sense that searchers land here because of the full text of On the Road post, and how to pronounce Cannes being popular makes sense.  The post about Kerouac and vocabulary makes some sense, too. The post about fellaheen surprises me that it got so many pageviews, but as with all of these, I never know who or what site shares links to particular posts, and that can make all the difference. Speaking of which, feel free to share links to my posts on your website or social media platform.

If you have ideas about how we might celebrate a million pageviews, let us know in a comment!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Remembering Natalie Jackson

Natalie Jackson
24-year-old Natalie Jackson died on this date -- November 30 -- in 1955. She was Rosie Buchanan in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums and Rosemarie in Desolation AngelsBig Sur, and Book of Dreams.

Jackson, who was a model of Robert LaVigne's, gained Beat notoriety from having an affair with Kerouac's muse, Neal Cassady. She killed herself by slitting her throat and throwing herself off the roof of 1051 Franklin Street (reached from her apartment's roof at 1041) in San Francisco, supposedly over her fear of the consequences from having impersonated Neal's wife, Carolyn, to help Neal get money from the bank for a race track betting scheme. Kerouac describes Jackson's death in The Dharma Bums Chapter 15 thus:
The musicians and I drank up all the wine and talked, till about midnight, and Rosie seemed to be all right now, lying on the couch, talking, even laughing a bit, eating her sand­wiches and drinking some tea I'd brewed her. The musi­cians left and I slept on the kitchen floor in my new sleeping bag. But when Cody came home that night and I was gone she went up on the roof while he was asleep and broke the skylight to get jagged bits of glass to cut her wrists, and was sitting there bleeding at dawn when a neighbor saw her and sent for the cops and when the cops ran out on the roof to help her that was it: she saw the great cops who were going to arrest us all and made a run for the roof edge. The young Irish cop made a flying tackle and just got a hold of her bathrobe but she fell out of it and fell naked to the sidewalk six flights below. (Penguin Books, 1976, p. 112)

Note that I reported she cut her throat but Kerouac said wrists. I depended on Gerald Nicosia's Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac for the throat detail (University of California Press, 1994, p. 499). And it seems Natalie didn't necessarily throw herself off the roof, but may have accidentally fallen off while backing away from the police officer who attempted to grab her. It's hard to say if she would have survived cutting herself had the police been successful in preventing her fall.

Either way, Natalie died tragically and too young, one of several Beat figures to do so (e.g., Bill Cannastra and David Kammerer).

RIP, Ms. Jackson.

Monday, November 25, 2019

I provide a Jack Kerouac quote and you figure out the book (2nd in a series)

Today's Jack Kerouac quote (from one of his books) is:
". . . I've had enough occasion to recognize this truth: women own the earth, women own heaven too--it is tyranny without words--and without swords--"
Your job is to identify the book that is the source of the above quote and post it in a comment.

I await your response. Remember to follow our comment policy (over there on the right), which includes not posting anonymously.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

A Kerouac-related birthday: Joanne Kyger

On this date -- November 19 -- poet Joanne Kyger was born in 1934. She was an acclaimed poet in her own right who was associated with the Beat movement but never considered herself part of any particular poetry movement, having borrowed from many. She moved to San Francisco in 1957 and became part of the literary scene anchored by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure et al. To my knowledge, Kyger did not appear in any of Kerouac's works. She was once married to Gary Snyder (Japhy in The Dharma Bums).

Read more about her and some of her poems by clicking here.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Ms. Kyger.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Remembering a Kerouac acquaintance: Alan Watts

Spiritual entertainer and philosopher/writer Alan Watts died on this date -- November 16 -- in 1973. He appeared in two Kerouac novels: as Arthur Whane in The Dharma Bums and as Alex Aums in Desolation Angels.

Here's an excerpt about Watts from Gerald Nicosia's Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac from when Jack was living with Gary Snyder in his shack in Mill Valley up above Locke McCorkle's house:
He [Kerouac] and Gary went to dinner at Alan Watts', and Jack and Watts got on fine, Jack liking his "sincerity." (1994, University of California Press, p. 518)
Kerouac said the following about Watts (Whane) in The Dharma Bums:
I went out to the bonfire to hear Cacoethes' [Rexroth's] latest witti­cisms. Arthur Whane was sitting on a log, well dressed, necktie and suit, and I went over and asked him "Well what is Bud­dhism? Is it fantastic imagination magic of the lightning flash, is it plays, dreams, not even plays, dreams?" 
"No, to me Buddhism is getting to know as many people as possible." And there he was going around the party real af­fable shaking hands with everybody and chatting, a regular cocktail party. (1976, Penguin Books, p. 195)
Watts has his critics, but I like how he presents Eastern concepts for the Western mind in his writing and also in his speaking (much of which is available on YouTube as well as official sites like I posted about Kerouac and Watts on July 24, 2011 (click here).

Kerouac and Watts had two major -isms in common: Buddhism and alcoholism, the latter likely killing them both although Watts made it to 58, whereas Jack was only 47 when he died.

RIP, Mr. Watts.