Saturday, May 25, 2013

Big Sur film review

Click here for Jerry Cimino's review of Big Sur. He liked it. A lot.

85% voiceover narration? Makes sense to me. After all, it's about the language.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I'm reading

I haven't posted much lately. Been doing a lot of reading. Currently enjoying Joyce Johnson's The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac. Jack's Book of Dreams is my current Keroucian (Kerouawhackian?) adventure. Also working my way through The Wisdom of the Vedas by J.C. Chatterji (to help me better understand where Alan Watts, who I've been listening to extensively, is coming from). When I bought the latter at Barnes & Noble the young man checking me out said, "Good for you. This is a great book . . . ," and proceeded to school me on other good Hindu resources. Knowledgeable guy. I still think I want to work there and just be around books and book lovers all day. Ten minutes after I got hired the company would abandon brick-and-mortar stores - that's my fear anyway.

Reading Johnson's biography has me wanting to read more of what Jack read. I tried Proust and failed (yawn). Maybe Saroyan, or Wolfe, or Celine, or Spengler?

Too many books, too little time . . . .

One thing's for sure because of the latter realization: I'm not wasting my time gutting through something that doesn't hold my attention.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Australian judge cites Jack Kerouac

In dismissing a woman's appeal, Australian Justice Glenn Martin cited Jack Kerouac:
In his written judgment, Justice Martin said it wasn't easy to summarise Ms Kosteska's written submissions. 
"In some respects it resembles the stream of consciousness style of writing used (more entertainingly) by authors such as Jack Kerouac," he said.

 Click here for the full article.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Upcoming review: Poems Retrieved by Frank O'Hara

I'm in receipt of a new expanded version of Poems Retrieved by Frank O'Hara, published by City Lights. Once I finish reading it, I'll post a review here on The Daily Beat.

In the meantime, readers may want to note that our hero Jack Kerouac had an "interesting" interaction with O'Hara at a poetry reading in 1959. Jonny Metro posted about it here. Poems Retrieved was edited by Don Allen, who edited Kerouac's Good Blonde & Others.

City Lights information about Frank O'Hara:
Among the most significant post-war American poets, Frank O'Hara grew up in Grafton, MA, graduating from Harvard in 1950. After earning an MA at Michigan in 1951, O’Hara moved to New York, where he began working for the Museum of Modern Art and writing for Art News. By 1960, he was named Assistant Curator of Painting and Sculpture Exhibitions at MOMA. Along with John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest, he is considered an original member of the New York School. City Lights published O'Hara's Lunch Poems in our Pocket Poets Series (#19) in 1964. He died in 1966.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"Girly" makeover for On the Road cover

Click here for an article where a "top novelist has asked her fans to redesign classic novels as if they were being marketed at women in protest at the 'girly' imagery publishers use on book covers for women authors." Above is the revisioning of Jack Kerouac's On the Road.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kerouac at Harvard 1964

According to Dave Moore, this was actually in March 1964, contrary to what the caption says. A recording from the event can be heard here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Charles Laughton reading from The Dharma Bums

Click here to listen to the famous actor, Charles Laughton, read from The Dharma Bums.

Promising new book

The new book by Ronald K.L. Collins and David M. Skover, Mania: The Story of the Outraged and Outrageous Lives That Launched a Cultural Revolution, looks promising. Click here for a review.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Today in Kerouac history

In his journal on this date in 1948, Jack Kerouac wrote:
Today felt like a lucky day, I received my bonus check. I said to myself, "What next?" Wrote 1000-words more on chapter, good definitive ones. The remainder hangs over my happy conscience. Things are swinging in me . . .*
Jack is talking about his G.I. Bill check and work on his first published novel, The Town and the City. Even when he was writing his novels he also kept a journal and always had something with him to write with (note what's sticking out of his pocket above).

Writers write, and Jack was truly the embodiment of that aphorism.

* From Douglas Brinkley's Windblown World, p. 75.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gary Snyder

As our regular readers no doubt know, poet Gary Snyder (above) was represented in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums as Japhy Ryder. Today is Gary's birthday (he is 83) and The Daily Beat wishes him a happy one! On Facebook today someone called him a "wilderness essayist." He might appreciate that (definitely more than "Beat poet," an eponym he eschews).

In honor of Gary's birthday, let's read some of his poetry (click here). If you follow this link and haven't been to before, do some looking around. It's a great resource.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

On the Road hotel to get revamp

Hotel Stuart in the mid-40s
A Des Moines couple is spearheading the restoration of Stuart, Iowa's Hotel Stuart, in whose lobby Sal Paradise buys a bus ticket in On the Road. The couple plans to name the hotel bar after Kerouac.

Click here for more information.