Thursday, April 5, 2018

Curation #26 from my Kerouac bookshelf: The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

Item #26 from my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums. A Penguin Books publication, it shows it's a 39th printing. The copyright page both lists "Published in Penguin Books 1976" and "Copyright Renewed Stella Kerouac and Jan Kerouac, 1986." I'll let you guess the year this book was printed.

Provenance of this copy is likely that I bought it used on Amazon as a "give-away" (see yesterday's post for what that means: No, I really mean it. I'm not going to explain what a "give-away" copy means -- you'll just have to click that link to find out.

Faithful Daily Beat readers know that The Dharma Bums is my favorite Kerouac novel. I know, I know. That's not what the critics and scholars say. And it was written to capitalize on the momentum of On The Road. But Hell, it's got vegetarianism, sex, college, crap, fresh air, the dharma, drinking, materialism, finding a mate, watching television, freedom, compassion, resisting what is, the illusion of things, dogs being wiser than their masters, spiritual power, actions v. words, breakfast, appearances, food for the road, walking meditation, impermanence, and gifts. And that's just a list of what I picked out of the book to discuss in my own book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions (link over on the right). There's also Buddhism, hiking, hitchhiking, sleeping under the stars, train-hopping, friendship, mountains, climbing, wilderness, parties, cats, dogs, nudity, God, zen koans, boozing, the ocean, rivers, tea ceremonies, and don't forget -- poet extraordinaire Gary Snyder (appearing as main character Japhy Ryder).


There's a link over on the right if you want to buy a copy of The Dharma Bums. It's a "must own" for Kerouac fans. When my birthday rolls around, feel free to get me a first edition, first printing, preferably signed by Jack. Yair!

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (7th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: a different copy of The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac (given to me by my great friend, Richard).

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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