Sunday, September 18, 2016

John Montgomery's 1970 Jack Kerouac Memoir

Once upon a time, a colleague of mine - knowing of my Kerouac obsession - gave me this book that she had been holding on to since her college days. It's copyrighted 1970 by John Montgomery and published by The Giligia Press in Fresno, CA. I think I've mentioned this before.

Regular readers of The Daily Beat will know that John Montgomery was Henry Morley in The Dharma Bums, Alex Fairbrother in Desolation Angels and the expanded version of Book of Dreams, and himself in Satori in Paris.

I see the softcover version (like mine) going for $45 on eBay, $112.50 for the hardcover. To inspire you to get your own copy, below are some snippets:

On Jack outfitting himself with camping gear after the Matterhorn climb in Bums:
"This was what gave his writing impetus--his anticipation of adventure" (p. 5).

Along the way to the Matterhorn climb:
"On the way to the mountains Jack did a lot of talking on the subject of his visions. He said that he had read a life of the Buddha and had practiced celibacy for four years as a result. Of course. a lot of credit needs to be given to the distrust of women which he had. I doubt if this was a result of his first marriages" (p. 9).

On Jack's imbibing (and practicality):
"I would imagine that if his bank failed that Jack would say that after all it should not interfere with his drinking" (p. 11).

Comparing Jack to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
"In some sense he may be compared to Fitzgerald; they lushed; had unsatisfactory times at college; tried pretty hard to measure the pulse of their own young generation trying to find itself" (p. 14).

Those are just to tease your fancy. Lots more where that came from in this little (16-page) book(let).

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