Saturday, November 17, 2018

Quoting Jack Kerouac



If you have occasion to quote Jack Kerouac -- or anyone, for that matter -- it is important to make sure of two things:

1. The quoted person actually said or wrote the words.

2. The quoted words are accurately reproduced.

This is easier said than done in the Internet age, as quotes run amok on-line. 

Your safest bet to quote Kerouac and be sure he said or wrote the words (#1 above) is to get your quote directly from one of his published books. You then can rest assured that he wrote them (more or less -- publishers fuck up, too). It helps to cite the book title and copyright date and publisher and page number(s). Then quote away. Even if it doesn't meet #2 above, you can blame it on the source (as long as you reproduced accurately). This includes his published letters, which, again, if it doesn't meet #2, you can blame it on the source. Another option that is less safe is to quote a legitimate secondary source such as one of the many well-regarded biographies. This won't ensure meeting #2, but, once again, you can blame it on the source.

What you should not do is take a quote from Goodreads or any of the many other quotation sources on-line. They are often not cited at all, or correctly cited, and they are often not accurate. That is, they don't meet #1 or #2 above. Note the difficulty in capturing an accurate Kerouac quote that I posted about here.

One exception to this rule seems to be the Jack Kerouac Wikiquote. It seems to meet #1 and #2 and even includes a list of misattributed Kerouac quotes. If you find a mistake on there, fix it. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Still, your best bet is to open a book like On The Road and carefully transcribe your Kerouac quote directly from the source.

And cite your work. For posterity. Please.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kerouac: Beat Painting



I didn't know there was another book of Kerouac's paintings in addition to Departed Angels: The Lost Paintings by Jack Kerouac (curated here). This is "the catalog of an exhibition mounted, between December 2017 and April 2018, at the MAGA Gallery at Gallarate in northern Italy" according to this article in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The Amazon description (see link below) says that most of the 80 paintings and drawings included here have never before been published, so you may want to get this for your Kerouac bookshelf as a supplement to Departed Angels.

Hopefully, MAGA doesn't stand for an American political slogan. I think it stands for Museo Arte Gallarate, but, if so, why the extra A? Asking for a friend . . . .



Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recent book sales and a subversive idea

I had 2 sales of my book on Amazon last month. That is infinitely better than most months (during which I sell zero books). This is a shout-out and a thank you to the person or persons who made the purchases. You rock and I hope you (or the recipients if it's a gift) enjoy it.

FYI, a while back I started donating my book royalties to a podcast -- Middle Theory -- that doesn't charge for its content but relies solely on donations from listeners. It doesn't amount to much as I don't sell many books and, when I do, the royalty is only about 27% ($7.96 total for those last two books with a cover price totaling $29.98). By the way, I highly recommend the Middle Theory podcast -- it's the only one I listen to regularly.

I know I've been hawking my book a lot this week, but Christmas is coming and it makes a great gift. It's versatile, too. You can use it as a drink coaster, kindling for a fire, wobbly table leveler, frisbee, papier-mâché material, journal (lots of white space), or -- and this is a subversive thing you can do with it -- as an item to reverse shoplift. That is, buy a copy and sneak it onto the bookshelf at a brick-and-mortar bookstore just for a prank. Finally, you could leave a copy at a Beat landmark like the White Horse Tavern in NYC or Vesuvio's in San Francisco. In fact, if you are inclined to do either of the latter and want a free copy for doing so, send me an e-mail with your plan. I'll pick the best proposal I get after a couple of weeks go by and send the chosen person an inscribed book to leave at the identified location. My e-mail is thebeathandbook@gmail.com.

Now let's get cracking with those proposals . . . .


Click here to purchase or use the link over on the right ----> 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kerouac backstory on a photographer from Pull My Daisy

Happened on this article today and thought it would be of interest to readers. The author's father was a photographer who worked on the famous Beat short film, Pull My Daisy, adapted from Kerouac's play, The Beat Generation. You'll have to read almost the whole piece to find that tidbit.

Here's a link to Pull My Daisy in case you haven't seen it: click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

10 Kerouac Christmas gift ideas

Christmas gift idea #1

If you're reading this blog, I presume it means you are a Jack Kerouac fan or at least interested enough in Kerouac to land on this post. That means you might have family or friends who are interested in Kerouac, and since Christmas is coming, perhaps you would entertain some Kerouac-themed gift ideas.

To wit, below in no particular order (except #1) are 10 Kerouac-themed gift ideas for Christmas.

1. The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions by Rick Dale
This book -- my book -- answers the question, "What would Kerouac do?", by mining The Dharma Bums and On The Road. Click here to order it from Amazon. It's a great companion reader for ##7 and 8.

2. A Kerouac T-shirt
There are any number of places on-line to order Kerouac T-shirts. Just Google "Kerouac T-shirt" and you'll see options like Etsy and Teepublic, etc. Zazzle used to have some but I think the estate got after them. I only know that because they discontinued one that I created, citing copyright reasons.

3. A Kerouac coffee mug
Again, just Google the phrase and you will see options like Zazzle (not sure why the estate didn't get after them about this one) and CafePress.

4. A Kerouac button
Like the one my friend, Richard Marsh, got me as a surprise gift. You can find it on eBay by clicking here.

5. A Kerouac poster
At Redbubble you will find not only posters but also T-shirts and mugs. Click here.

6. A Kerouac video
There are lots of choices here, not the least of which would be one of the film adaptations like On The Road or Big Sur. Or the documentary, One Fast Move or I'm Gone would be a good choice. Check out The Beat Museum gift shop for some videos as well as other Kerouac schwag.

7*. On The Road by Jack Kerouac, first edition first printing inscribed by Kerouac
This is only $89,378.06 at Abebooks. What a present this would be for someone! If you need my mailing address, let me know . . . .

8*. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, first edition first printing
Click here. Not as expensive as #7, but still pricey. Again, let me know if you need my mailing address . . . .

9. The Portable Jack Kerouac edited by Ann Charters
Here's a lot of Jack in one spot for that special someone on your list.

10. A bottle of Blanton's Kentucky single barrel bourbon whiskey
I know some will say it's heresy to include booze on a Kerouac-themed Christmas gift list since he died of alcoholism, but I'm hedging my bets in case someone uses this list for ideas for me and happens upon this item. I love this bourbon like no other I've tried. Expensive. You can buy it online here.

10a. Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades by John Suiter.
This is an alternative to #10 in case it offended you. This is a beautiful, beautiful book and would be a great gift for anyone, Kerouac fan or not.


So there you have it. 10 Kerouac-themed Christmas gift ideas to spur you on as you tackle your shopping this season. If you have other ideas, let us know in a comment.

Have fun!



*A nice, cheap used copy of On The Road or The Dharma Bums or any other Kerouac novel would also be a great gift. Good alternatives are Visions of Gerard or Big Sur or Dr. Sax or The Subterraneans.











Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP to Kerouac close friend William "Billy" Koumantzelis

One of Jack Kerouac's close late-in-life friends from his hometown of Lowell died last month. William "Billy" Koumantzelis was 92. You can read about him here in the Lowell Sun.

Here's a picture of Billy that I took at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac in October 2012.



That's Billy to the left of David Amram (center, partially hidden by microphone).

Hearing Billy speak that night was a highlight of the festival for me. You can read my report from LCK 2012 here.


RIP, Billy. Say hi to Jack for us . . . .





Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Kerouac-inspired film: The Long Dumb Road



Keep your eyes peeled for The Long Dumb Road, a film inspired by Kerouac's On The Road. I can't really vouch for the film because I haven't seen it, but it may be worth checking out. Here's a snippet from Deadline Hollywood about it:
The Long Dumb Road came out of a road trip a friend of filmmaker Hannah Fidell had taken some years back. The friend was obsessed with the Jack Kerouac classic novel, On The Road, so set out for a life experience and along the way befriended a drifter while en route to Los Angeles.
Here's a link to the entire article (scroll to the end): https://deadline.com/2018/11/ballad-of-buster-scruggs-release-in-a-relationship-chef-flynn-el-angel-specialty-box-office-preview-1202498517/. The film got 6.9/10 on IMDB and 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it probably doesn't suck.

What's not to love about a decent road/buddy movie?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Tao of Kerouac



Sometimes a title for my next book -- yes, I just put that concept out there into the universe so now I need to make it manifest -- comes to me without much in the way of an overall theme or plot. Yesterday, for some unknown reason, the title, "The Tao of Jack Kerouac," popped into my mind.

I really like that title for several reasons. First, I think it's catchy. Second, it lends itself to a lot of directions, not the least of which is exploring the Eastern religious aspects of Kerouac's life and work (remember, The Dharma Bums is my favorite Kerouac novel). Finally, it hasn't been used yet.

Or so I thought. Just in case, I Googled the phrase and found this article from December 2016: The Tao of Jack Kerouac. I didn't find a book by that title.

Not wanting to be accused of copying but undaunted, next I Googled "The Tao of Kerouac." Nothing by that title -- either book or essay -- came up, although I did happen across this: "The Beat Generation Worldview in Kerouac’s On the Road." It contains a section titled, "The Tao of On the Road." As I expected, my own blog post, "Jack Kerouac and the Tao of Fried Eggs," appeared in the search results, but it appears that no one has written a book or essay titled, "The Tao of Kerouac."

So let the word go forth from this time and place that I am place-holding "The Tao of Kerouac" as a potential future book title. If someone jumps on it before I get around to using it, so be it and you're welcome.

What will it be about? Translated, it means "The Way of Kerouac." I can think of lots of different directions to take that concept, but I need a thesis. But could the world stand one more book about Jack Kerouac? What are your thoughts?



Friday, November 9, 2018

Ntozake Shange and Jack Kerouac



You've probably been wondering about the connection between poet/playwright Ntozake Shange (she wrote For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf), who died recently, and Jack Kerouac. Or maybe you haven't, but remember: everything connects to Jack Kerouac.

I was reading a remembrance piece about Ntozake in the San Francisco Chronicle and came across this line:
In addition to her well-known connections to the Black Arts Movement, Shange had Bay Area influences, including the Beats, the first artists she heard combining music and poetry . . . .
Click here for a link to the article.

So the Kerouac connection is clear: Jack and his Beat compatriots were an influence on Ntozake. We'll probably learn more about those connections when Gerald Nicosia finishes the biography he has been working on about her.




Here is the article link for future reference: https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/remembering-for-colored-girls-playwright-ntozake-shange-1948-2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

"A Slightly Embarrassing Love for Jack Kerouac" by Amanda Petrusich



I've been catching up on my on-line Kerouac content. I've been so focused on my Kerouac bookshelf curation project since February that I haven't been keeping current with Kerouac news and articles.

Click here for an article from the New Yorker by Amanda Petrusich titled, "A Slightly Embarrassing Love for Jack Kerouac."

It's a good essay, honest and insightful, published to coincide with Jack's birthday week. I missed it in March but I enjoyed it this morning -- I think you will, too.



Here's the actual link for future reference: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-slightly-embarrassing-love-for-jack-kerouac


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Beats and Catholicism



I just ran across this article in Angelus-- dated today -- about the Beats and Catholicism. I don't agree with the author on every point. I agree that religion influenced Beat literature, but to say the dominant religious influence was Roman Catholicism is a stretch once you go beyond Kerouac. Fortunately, the article focuses mainly on Jack, whose writing explicitly reflects his Catholic upbringing and beliefs.

Angelus appears to be the magazine of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (the word means a Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation). It's interesting to see an article about the Beats in a Catholic magazine -- I suspect they will take some grief for the subject matter since the Beats espoused behaviors that were antithetical to Catholic dogma.


Here is the actual link for future reference: https://angelusnews.com/news/mike-aquilina/original-hipsters-the-beats-catholic-confusion

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

For once, don't follow my book's advice

Click here to find the answer to "What would Kerouac do?"

The thesis of my book (above) is simple: To be a Beat, answer the question, "What would Kerouac do?" Then do that.

Just for today, I disavow that advice because -- as far as I can ascertain -- Jack didn't routinely vote. If and when he did, he likely voted Republican (e.g., see this NBC news transcript). Especially later in life, Jack espoused conservative views. But that is another blog post.

Now, it is not my place here to tell you how you should vote, but I am going to encourage you to do so (if you haven't done so already). The direction of the country is at stake, so if you like the way things have been going, or you don't, make your voice heard -- VOTE!

As for me, this time around I am voting to send a message that governing by negativity, hate, fear, lying, bullying, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry, racism, greed, chaos, conflict, division, and by being anti-poor, anti-old, anti-sick, anti-disability, anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-healthcare, anti-Medicare, anti-Medicaid, and anti-Social Security is not okay with me. Not. Okay. With. Me. And while I've voted for Republicans in the past, the current situation in this country is such that I will not vote for a Republican for any elected office. As Crystal says, not even for dogcatcher ("Animal Control Officer" for PC folks).

If my being honest about my voting preferences turns you off from reading my blog in the future, while that makes me sad, it says more about you than it does me.

Support democracy and VOTE!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Reminder about Jack Kerouac on reddit



This is just a reminder that there is a Jack Kerouac page on reddit (a "subreddit") that focuses on all things Kerouac. It's not a very busy place (yet), but there are some interesting posts there. For example, 2 days ago someone posted that they were having a cognac at the Tangerrin, where Jack and the Beats drank. I think it's this place (albeit the spelling differences).

Click here to visit the Kerouac subreddit.

If you're not familiar with reddit, give it a chance. It takes some exploring to get used to how it works, but there is a lot of information there. Do some searching and if you find subreddits you like, subscribe to them and posts there will then show up in your reddit home feed.

Self-disclosure: I am the creator and moderator of this subreddit, but there's nothing in it for me except having just one more place on-line devoted to Jack Kerouac.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Kerouac's Mexico: Photo-Essay by John Suiter

Kerouacophiles know how important Mexico was in Jack's life journey and writing, yet for one reason or another I had not run across the below photo-essay by John Suiter until today.* You will remember that we curated Suiter's book, Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades, here. It is one of my very favorite Kerouac-related books, and I can't wait to check this photo-essay out more carefully. It should be good for two reasons: John Suiter plus it's a legitimate Kerouac website (UMass Lowell's The Jack and Stella Kerouac Center for the Public Humanities).

Here's the link: Kerouac's Mexico.


Enjoy!



*It's also possible I'd seen it and forgotten about it.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Kerouac Bookshelf Curation Project: Afterword

I'd be interested to know from readers what you thought of my recently concluded Kerouac bookshelf curation project, in which I curated every item on my Kerouac bookshelf starting on February 12, 2018 and proceeding through the 169 items that were on that shelf -- in order, top to bottom and left to right -- on that date. Did it inspire you to curate your own collection, or at least take a picture of it for posterity? Was it tedious in length or in similarity of posts (despite my efforts to put in some unique and relevant piece of information about each book)?

If the length bothered you, be glad I had 13* Kerouac or Kerouac-related items scattered about the house (living room bookcase, basket by the fireplace, bedside table, or even my Kerouac bookshelf but after I started the official curation -- a recent acquisition, say). Here's proof (picture taken today):



Kerouacophiles will be able to tell why I included all of these titles (5 of which are easy because they include -- exclusively or in part -- Kerouac's own writing).

1. City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
2. Selected Poems by Robert Creeley
3. Sleeping with Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the 1950s and 1960s by Alice Denham
4. A Buddhist Bible by Dwight Goddard
5. Mindfield by Gregory Corso
6. The Unknown Kerouac: Rare, Unpublished & Newly Translated Writings edited by Todd Tietchen
7. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
8. Escapade magazine from December 1959
9. The Last Days of Jan Kerouac by Gerald Nicosia
10. Trickster Feminism by Anne Waldman
11. The Big Cage by Robert Lowry
12. Pomes All Sizes by Jack Kerouac
13. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac


 If I had included all 13 of these items on my Kerouac bookshelf, the grand total would be 182. That qualifies me for the Kerouac Hoarder Awared given out yearly by the American Hoarder Society based in Dungsville, Indiana.

Seriously though, assuming I am not going to curate those 13 items (which is a good assumption), what in the world am I going to blog about henceforth? What hasn't been said about Jack Kerouac here or elsewhere? What would Kerouac do?

Cheers....


* There may be more than 13 -- I didn't hunt very long or hard.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Curation #169 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Last Man Standing...Al Hinkle, interview with Stephen D. Edington



NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST IN MY SERIES OF CURATIONS FROM MY KEROUAC BOOKSHELF.
WE STARTED THIS PROJECT ON FEBRUARY 12, 2018 (CLICK HERE) AND PERSEVERED THROUGH 169 ITEMS. AS WE'VE MENTIONED, THERE ARE OTHER KEROUAC ITEMS ABOUT THE HOUSE -- WHICH WE MAY GET AROUND TO CURATING -- BUT OUR ORIGINAL INTENT WAS TO CURATE WHAT WAS ON MY KEROUAC BOOKSHELF ON FEBRUARY 12, AND WE'VE DONE THAT. AMEN.

Item #169 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is a three-fer (it all came in one mailing): 2 signed photographs of Al Hinkle and a Stephen P. Edington interview titled, Last Man Standing...Al Hinkle. 38 pages (no page numbers), the book measures about 5.5" x 8.5" and is in very good condition. It is hand-marked 28/200 and inscribed thus:

Happy Trails
Al Hinkle
In Freedom & Liberty
Dear Rick Thanks so much
for the Books -- I enjoy
two or three Kerouactions
a day. Keep "the beat" going.
Feb 2012

The glossy pics measure about 8" x 10" and, yes, that is Jack Kerouac in one and Neal Cassady in the other.

The provenance of these items is that Al sent them to me after I interviewed him for this blog here, and had sent him a copy of my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions. I note in his inscription of the book that he mentioned my term, Kerouactions! How cool is that?

For those who are not diehard Kerouac fans, Al Hinkle is one of the last living characters represented in On the Road -- hence the book title. He was portrayed as Big Ed Dunkel in On the Road.

This book is a lengthy interview with Stephen D. Edington, whose book we curated here. It also includes another short piece by Edington titled, "Neal and Ike--A Meeting of the Icons," and a short piece by Al titled, "My Friend, Allen Ginsberg: A Short Ride with Al Hinkle."

There's some priceless stuff here. Remember that Al was in the car on that famous 1949 road trip that Kerouac immortalized in On the Road.

I don't know how you'd get your hands on a copy of these items other than contacting Al directly, and I couldn't get alhinkle.com to work just now. Mine aren't for sale (unless you have a lot of dough to part with).



Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (23rd from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. In the past, this space has been reserved for "Next Up," but as we said above, this curation project is officially at a stopping point. If you enjoyed this post, there are 168 others that you can read by using the blog archive over on the right-hand side.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Curation #168 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village by Fred W. and Gloria S. McDarrah



Item #168 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this 1996 Schirmer Books 1st printing of Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village by Fred W. and Gloria S. McDarrah. 286 pages, it measures about 8.5" x 11" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that it was a Christmas gift from my son and daughter-in-law (via Amazon's handy gift list feature). Stamped on the top edge is "Columbus Metropolitan Library," so we know where it resided at one time.

I don't know what to say about this book. It is simply fabulous. In hundreds of vivid black-and-white pictures -- and text -- the McDarrahs* take us back to the Beat scene in the Village circa 1959. The McDarrahs were there, man, and they capture it like no others have or will. From the classic cover photo of Kerouac reading at the famous Artist's Studio to Ginsberg reading at the Living Theater to a cameo of Gary Snyder in NYC, it's all here, including a lengthy list of biographical sketches (a Who's Who of the Village Beat heyday).

If you haven't seen this book, order it right away, digest it, and then put it on your Kerouac bookshelf where it belongs.


*Google the McDarrahs if you aren't already familiar with them. Hint: Fred was a staff photographer for the Village Voice for years and he took some of the classic photos of Jack with which you are familiar.








Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (22nd from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Last Man Standing...Al Hinkle: An Interview with Stephen D. Edington.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Curation #167 from my Kerouac bookshelf: July/August 2012 Playboy featuring "The Lost Photos of Jack Kerouac"



Item #167 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this July/August 2012 issue of Playboy featuring an article titled, "The Lost Photos of Jack Kerouac." It's in very good condition and the provenance -- as best I remember -- is that I bought it at Barnes & Noble, embarrassingly in person.

The reason I bought this issue, other than to read the articles and the interview, was for the Kerouac piece. It's a set of never-before-seen photos taken by Robert Frank on assignment for Playboy in 1959 to take pictures of Kerouac. Frank was fresh off publication of his book, The Americans, for which Kerouac wrote the introduction.

I won't scan anything from the piece because my scans wouldn't do the pics justice and you can find them in the Playboy archive if you're really interested. As far as posting anything distaff from this issue, even the Jenny McCarthy (who I can't stand but photographs well) shots are no-go because of nudity. I'll probably get in trouble just for the cover shot. Since it's a double issue, there are two Playmates: Shelby Chesnes and Beth Williams. (Wow.) The interview is with bad boy Charlie Sheen.

I wrote about this issue when it first appeared -- click here.

Lost pictures of Jack Kerouac from 1959? This definitely belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf.


P.S. There are only two items left on my Kerouac bookshelf, meaning we will be ending this project with #169, coming soon. I may curate some other books that are laying/lying (take your pic - no one on earth has this one figured out) around the house but weren't on my bookshelf the day I started curating.




Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (21st from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village by Fred W. and Gloria S. McDarrah.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Curation #166 from my Kerouac bookshelf: January 1965 Playboy featuring Jack Kerouac's short story, "Good Blonde"



Item #166 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this January 1965 issue of Playboy featuring Jack Kerouac's essay, "Good Blonde." It's in very good condition and the provenance is that I bought it online (eBay, I think).

Of course, you can read Jack's famous short story in Good Blonde & Others, which I curated here. It's probably available full text online somewhere, but my quick searching didn't uncover it. Send us a link if you have one.

Below is a (poor) scan of the first page of the short story.



In case you're wondering about the other interesting aspects of this issue, the Playmate of the Month is Sally Duberson. As we suspected in yesterday's post, bare breasts made an appearance in this issue, but where Sally is concerned only the pin-up meets that criterion. This issue features a review of the previous year's Playmates and bare breasts abound; unfortunately, I can't share any of that because the Blogger platform doesn't allow nudity and I don't feel like getting banned.

Since we only peruse Playboy for the articles and interviews anyway, it is of note that this issue's interview is with Martin Luther King, Jr. If you want to read it, the whole issue is available in Playboy's archive here.

This definitely belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf.




Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (20th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Playboy from July/August 2012 featuring an article titled, "The Lost Photos of Jack Kerouac."

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Monday, October 29, 2018

Happy National Cat Day!

It's National Cat Day, so here is a picture of Jack Kerouac cuddling one of his beloved cats.


Curation #165 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Playboy from June 1959 featuring Jack Kerouac's "The Origins of the Beat Generation"



Item #165 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this June 1959 issue of Playboy featuring Jack Kerouac's essay, "The Origins of the Beat Generation." It's in very good condition and the provenance is that I bought it online (eBay, I think).

Of course, you can read Jack's famous essay in Thomas Parkinson's A Casebook on the Beat, which I curated here. It's probably available full text online somewhere, but my quick searching didn't uncover it. If you have a link, send it to us via a comment on this post. I've mentioned this essay before -- here, for example. And here.

Below is a (poor) scan of the first page of the essay.



In case you're wondering about the other interesting aspects of this issue, the pin-up girl was Marilyn Hanold ("Charlie"), and there isn't a shot of her that couldn't be in People today. For example:



It's hard to find a bare breast in the whole issue. Times have sure changed since 1959.

This definitely belongs on your Kerouac bookshelf.




Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (19th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Playboy from January 1965 featuring Jack Kerouac's short story, "Good Blonde." Maybe a bare breast will make an appearance -- 6 years is a long time....

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Item #164 from my Kerouac bookshelf: "Reversing Falls," a short story by Sharon Doubiago



Item #164 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this draft short story, "Reversing Falls, 1973," by Sharon Doubiago. It is 26 pages long, printed on standard 8-1/2" x 11" typing paper, and is in good condition (having been in a manila folder ever since I've had it). Which brings us to the provenance.

I first met Sharon Doubiago in January 2013 at a beat poetry event at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California. I was introduced to her by event organizer, Gerry Nicosia. Sharon -- as you can see by clicking here -- is an accomplished poet and writer. When she heard that I was from Maine, she insisted on sharing with me a short story she'd been working on that features Maine and other northern New England locales. I don't know if she has published this particular story, but it's very engaging (and not just because I'm from Maine). The backbone of the story is a road trip she took in New England, but Doubiago deftly weaves in history, sociology, philosophy, sex, love, environmentalism, and other relevant topics.

Does this story belong on a Kerouac bookshelf? It belongs on mine since I'd never have met Sharon if it weren't for Kerouac biographer Gerry Nicosia introducing us. That' a good enough reason for me given my predilection for pointing out that all things connect to Kerouac.


Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (18th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Playboy from June 1959 featuring Jack Kerouac's essay, "Origins of the Beat Generation."

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Curation #163 from my Kerouac bookshelf: FBI FOIPA request response re: Jack Kerouac's FBI files



Item #163 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this January 13, 2010 letter from the FBI in Washington, D.C. It was in response to my having written to the FBI requesting Jack Kerouac's FBI files under the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOIPA) -- if they exist. You can see if you look carefully that they misspelled Kerouac as Kerovac in the Subject line, something I didn't follow up on but now wish I had done so. "We were unable to identify responsive main file records" was the answer to my request. If they were searching for Kerovac, of course that would be the response.

There are also "we are in receipt of your request" letters (in addition to the main HQ in D.C., I also wrote to the Boston and San Francisco and NYC field offices) in the pile (I'm not curating them since they appear below), and they have Kerouac spelled correctly. I also note that the FBI addresses me as Mr. Richard.

You can read the entire saga below:
FBI Files Part 1
FBI Files Part 2
FBI Files Part 3
FBI Files Part 4

I am hard-pressed to believe that the FBI didn't keep a file on Jack Kerouac, and now I want to write them again and make sure they use the correct name in their search. But that's a story for another day . . . .


Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (17th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: "Reversing Falls," a draft short story about Maine by California writer Sharon Doubiago.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Friday, October 26, 2018

Curation #162 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Beat Generation Playguide



Item #162 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this playguide for Jack Kerouac's Beat Generation presented by the Merrimack Repertory Theater and UMass Lowell in fall 2012. 14 pages, it measures about 8-1/2" x 11" and is in very good condition.

Jack Kerouac wrote his 3-act play, Beat Generation, in 1957 but it sat undiscovered in a New Jersey warehouse for 47 years. It was found and published by Thunder Mouth Press in 2005. In October 2012, coinciding with the annual Kerouac festival in his hometown of Lowell, MA, the play saw its world premiere in Lowell and I was there (with Crystal). This item is the playguide given to attendees. It includes a synopsis of the play, background on Kerouac and on the Beat Generation, cast of characters, history of the play, a Beat glossary, and references. Very helpful.

To read my report from Lowell that year, including my reaction to the play, click here. Act 3 of this play was the basis of a film by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie in 1959 titled, Pull My Daisy; it's available online here.

This probably isn't an item you can buy anywhere (maybe eBay), and mine is not for sale (unless you have deep pockets), but it definitely fits nicely on a Jack Kerouac bookshelf.


Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (16th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: FBI responses to my FOIPA requests for files on Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Curation #161 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Beat Scene Number 60 A Jack Kerouac Special Issue




Item #161 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this issue of Beat Scene magazine. It is Number 60, published Autumn 2009, and focuses on Jack Kerouac. 62 pages, it measures about 8" x 11.5" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I ordered it on-line.

Beat Scene is a quarterly published by Kevin Ring out of England. It focuses on the Beat Generation and was started in 1988. You can read more about it here.

This particular issue features letters to Kerouac from John Clellon Holmes and Gary Snyder, interviews with Helen Weaver and Barry Gifford, an excerpt from David Amram's Offbeat, and a variety of other essays/short pieces. Despite the color covers, the inside is all black-and-white, even the numerous photos. Below is the back cover.




It makes sense to have this issue of Beat Scene on your Kerouac bookshelf. I'm not sure how to get your hands on a copy other than contacting the publisher via the link above.



Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (15th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Beat Generation Playguide.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Curation #160 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Reflections Upon the 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road edited by Ron Whitehead and Robert M. Zoschke



Item #160 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this softcover 2007 Published in Heaven Books edition of Reflections Upon the 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road edited by Ron Whitehead and Robert M. Zoschke. 174 pages, it measures about 8-1/2" x 11" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that it was given to me by Gerry Nicosia. The title page is signed by editor Zoschke and inscribed by Gerry thus:
For Rick Dale-- Who
gets the spirit of Jack
better than anyone I know --
Love,
Gerry Nicosia
4/2/12
That's high praise from a legitimate Kerouac scholar -- I'll take it, humbly. And with a grain of salt as Gerry is my friend.

This book is a collection of over 50 essays and poems in honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Road. There are also numerous pictures and drawings throughout (over 70). Contributors range from the well-known (David Amram and Anne Waldman and Lawrence Ferlinghetti -- the latter did the front cover art) to the lesser known (Dave Church and Angelica Engel) but they all have something to say about Jack Kerouac. All the contributors have short bios in the back.

I'm sure Gerry gave me some backstory on the genesis of this book when he gave it to me, but my memory fails me. Next time we chat I will query him and update this post as appropriate.

Does this belong on your Kerouac bookshelf? If you are going for a complete collection of everything ever written about Jack, the answer is Hell to the yeah.






Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (14th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Beat Scene Number 60, A Jack Kerouac Special Issue, Autumn 2009. Please note: I am finding all sorts of things in this pile that are not worth the trouble to curate, so I am making command decisions and skipping them. Examples of such items are printed out e-mails, newspaper clippings, files with travel papers from a trip to Lowell, etc. Trust me -- I am not skipping anything of merit or of interest to readers.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Curation #159 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Beat & Beyond: A Gathering, newsprint schedule



Item #159 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this newsprint 8-page schedule for Beat & Beyond: A Gathering in NYC June 3-8, 2016. This was a six day poetry celebration honoring Beat poets, writers, musicians et al. Most of the events took place at Howl! Happening or Bowery Poetry or Bowery Electric near Bleecker Street.

On a last minute whim, my great friend, Richard Marsh, and I attended one day of this event and I wrote up the adventure here (with pictures!). It was a great event and the first time I ever saw Michael McClure and Ann Charters in person.



Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (13th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Reflections Upon the 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac's On the Road edited by Ron Whitehead and Robert M. Zoschke.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Jack Kerouac - safe in heaven dead and free of this slaving meat wheel

My first visit to Jack's grave in 2005 (December, I think)


Jack Kerouac died on this date in 1969 at age 47. Were he alive today he would be 97 and still writing life like no other author past, present, or future.

Click here for a link to last year's blog on this date -- it includes links to all my past blogs on this occasion.

Here's to you, Mr. Kerouac. Thanks for all the joyous reading and other good stuff your existence has manifested in my life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Curation #158 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Trois Couleurs Special Collector's Edition #8 -- On the Road: Based on Jack Kerouac



Item #158 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this Special Collector's edition (#8) of the monthly French magazine Trois Couleurs focused on Jack Kerouac and timed around the release of the On the Road movie. It doesn't show a year (a faux pas) but I know from my e-mail history that it was published in 2012. 242 pages, it measures about 8' x 11.5" and is in very good condition. The provenance is complicated.

Back in 2012, I contributed to a project collecting tributes to Kerouac that would be printed out to "recreate the scroll" (OTR4Kerouac). Read about it here but understand that the link to their website doesn't work. This Twitter link works. Anyway, one of the project leaders, Noemie Sornet, suggested I contact the publisher of Trois Couleurs for a free copy of this issue, and I did so. Click here to read a blog post I wrote about this issue after I received it. Trigger warning: I bring up the "Estate issue" in that post.

If you read the above post, you will get a sense of what's in this special issue of Trois Couleurs (which means Three Colors). It's a gorgeous edition, glossy and full color, and contains a lot of Kerouacian information and pictures.


I don't know how you'd get a copy of this magazine. Mine is not for sale.


Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (12th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Beat & Beyond, newspaper schedule for the Howl! Happening in NYC.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Curation #157 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Jack Kerouac: The Bootleg Era: An Annotated List by Rod Anstee



Item #157 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is Rod Anstee's Jack Kerouac: The Bootleg Era: An Annotated List dated June, 1993. It is 23 pages of standard 8-1/2" x 11" paper held together in a plastic protective binder cover and is in very good condition. The provenance is lost in memory -- I seem to remember someone sending it to me years ago; if that was you, drop me a note and refresh my memory. It may have been Rod himself, who in the introduction explains that this "first draft version" is being "printed and distributed to a small number of friends and Kerouac aficionados in the hope that they will seize the opportunity to assist in making this project as complete and accurate as possible." I've never met Rod, but he is a Kerouac scholar and collector from Canada; you can listen to an interview with him here.

Page 2 is a title page showing by hand numbering that this is #7 of 10 and is signed by Rod Anstee. As the title indicates, this is an annotated bibliography of 56 items identified as "bootlegs." There is a 2-page introduction and a 1-page afterword.

In this bibliography are bootleg or pirated -- or reckoned as such by many booksellers even if they might not be - items (booklets, books, and broadsides) such as A Last Haiku, Old Angel Midnight, Dr. Sax, Home at Christmas, Junk, On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and the list goes on. Each item is coded to Ann Charters' bibliography if it appears there.

This is an important Kerouac resource and it's likely collectible as it is signed and hand-numbered by the author. It appears that Water Row Press published this in 1994 with 64 entries and 14 illustrations; it's still available on-line (although the Amazon link below is fruitless as it is currently unavailable). Try AbeBooks.com.

This definitely deserves a spot on any thorough Kerouac bookshelf.









Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this item (11th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Trois Couleurs Special Edition #8 published by MK2 Media: On the Road Based on Jack Kerouac - The Man - The Book - The Film - The Odyssey of a Myth.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Monday, October 15, 2018

Curation #156 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Surviving on the Streets: How to Go DOWN Without Going OUT by Ace Backwords



Item #156 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this softcover 2001 Loompanics Unlimited edition (no printing number) of Surviving on the Streets: How to Go DOWN Without Going OUT by Ace Backwords. 195 pages, it measures about 8-3/8" x 10-5/8" and is in very good condition. The provenance is uncertain -- I thought it was an Amazon purchase but there is no record of it in my order history.

As its title suggests, this is a survival guide for living on the street. Author Ace Backwords (real name: Peter Labriola) is an interesting guy. He's a well-known underground cartoonist (e.g., for several years in the early 90s his work appeared monthly in High Times) and author/publisher (e.g., the tabloid Twisted Image; the book, Acid Heroes) who currently lives "on the street" in the Berkeley area yet maintains an on-going Facebook presence in which he opines about life, culture, politics, and the many feral cats he supports. I met him on-line through some kind of Kerouac connection I can't quite recall. Maybe he posted about Jack and I happened upon it via a search and sent him a friend request. Facebook is an impossible platform to retrieve past happenings from, so I am going from memory here.

Suffice to say, the Kerouac connection here is tangential at best. Certainly, Ace understands the term "beat" from personal and visceral experience, having lived on the street for many years. And Jack certainly could have been described as homeless at times. As to Ace's book, it is a compendium of useful, practical, honest, and gritty advice for living on the street. Ace learned a lot "the hard way" and wrote this book to help those who find themselves on the street and wondering how to make it. The book includes pictures -- some by Ace -- and a few of his Twisted Image (and other) cartoon strips. You can see his cartoon strips by Googling "twisted image ace backwords" and selecting Images.

Is this book a candidate for your Kerouac bookshelf? Yes, but only if you buy into my Six Degrees of Jack Kerouac theory for making such decisions. As an engaging read, though, you could do worse than pick up a copy of Surviving on the Streets. I am sure Ace would appreciate it (especially if he gets royalties).







Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (10th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Jack Kerouac: The Bootleg Era: An Annotated List by Rod Anstee.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Curation #155 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades by John Suiter



Item #155 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this hardcover 2002 Counterpoint edition (1st printing) of Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades by John Suiter. 340 pages, it measures about 8-1/2" by 10-1/2" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I received it as a gift from my great friend, Richard Marsh.

I don't know how to do this book justice with a written description. It is beautifully conceptualized, beautifully rendered, beautifully photographed, and beautifully written. Substitute for beautifully adverbs like exquisitely and masterfully and wonderfully and you get some sense of how much I love this book.

Poets on the Peaks is the story of Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, and Jack Kerouac focused around their time as fire lookouts in the North Cascades in the 1950s. Suiter hiked to all of the relevant lookouts and took pictures, interviewed Snyder, Whalen and others, and relied on previously unpublished letters and journals to tell the story of these three poets in the context of their common experiences in the great outdoors. But it's more than that. It's also about their lives together and as poets, about the Six Gallery reading, about The Dharma Bums years, about Jack's Buddhism, and so on.

I can't say enough about this book. It is a straight-through engaging read as well as a gorgeous book to thumb through. If I had to take 10 books with me to a desert island for a year, this would likely be on the list. If this isn't already on your Kerouac bookshelf, what are you waiting for?



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Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (9th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Surviving on the Streets: How to go DOWN without going OUT by Ace Backwords.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Curation #154 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Night Train to Shanghai and Other Memories of China by Gerald Nicosia




Curation #154 from my Kerouac bookshelf is this softcover 2014 Grizzly Peak Press first edition of Night Train to Shanghai and Other Memories of China by Gerald Nicosia. 114 pages, it measures about 5-3/16" x 8-1/8" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I got it directly from the author.

The Kerouac connection here is obvious to most Kerouac fans: Gerald Nicosia is the author of the acclaimed Kerouac biography, Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac. He is also my friend, so there is that connection as well -- any friend of mine has to be connected to Jack Kerouac by default.

While many know Gerry, as I call him, as a famous Kerouac biographer, he is also an accomplished poet. This is his third and most recent volume of poetry; it focuses -- as the title suggests -- on China. Perhaps you don't know this, but Gerry adopted his first child, Amy (Wu Ji) from China, and at 10 years old she was with Gerry on one of the trips to China that inspired this set of poems.

As Jerry Kamstra, author of The Frisco Kid, explains in the introduction:
In a collection of 32 poems, or extended koans I like to call them, Gerry takes us on a tour from the 600-year old Forbidden City to a born-yesterday underground supermarket in Shanghai where, he says, if you ever want to lose this world entirely, find the mystical door of perception like Huxley sans LSD, just spend a full hour at midnight there--alone and bewitched in the underground supermarket in Shanghai.

It's easy to get lost in this bewitching volume of soul-felt poetry, and I recommend it. As far as your Kerouac bookshelf goes, any book by the author of Memory Babe certainly deserves a spot there.










Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (8th from the top of the pile) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalemn & Jack Kerouac on the North Cascades by John Suiter.

Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf



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