Thursday, April 26, 2018

Curation #40 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac

Item #40 in my Kerouac bookshelf creation project is this copy of Jack Kerouac's Visions of Cody. This is a 26th printing of a Penguin Book copyrighted 1993. The provenance is likely that I bought it used on Amazon. This is actually the copy of this book that I first read cover-to-cover (and haven't since but it's on the bucket list).

I've already opined about Visions of Cody in curation #39 (click here) so there is no need to expound about the book today. Let's let a quote suffice. Here's a passage from Cody that Jack snuck into his reading of On The Road on the Steve Allen show in 1959.
I'm writing this book because we're all going to die--In the loneliness of my life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother faraway, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our death, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid: with just this one pride and consolation: my heart broke in the general despair and opened up inwards to the Lord, I made a supplication in this dream. (p. 368)
Yes, in my copy it looks like "faraway" is one word in the first instance and two words in the second.

Visions of Cody. Read it.

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (21st item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Vanity of Duluoz by Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf


Marc Bruseke said...

Hi Rick,

'Visions of Cody (Neal)' has always been one of my favourites, the amalgamation of different pieces and high experimentation (you can really feel Jack pushing the written word into a variety of directions) - I love the 'Tape' segment and have read it over-and-over - it feels way ahead of its time and just the idea of transcribing 'everyday' conversations and etching them into time. Capturing something that would have otherwise been relegated to memories now lost.

Ive been following your blog for sometime and actually wanted to contact you directly but couldnt find a way, so thought leaving a comment would be easiest and most direct. Im a South African writer based in the United Kingdom - I have my own little (very little!) indie press that I started primarily to publish my own work - but have published some work from others too.

My writing is hugely influenced by the Beats and I actually wanted to drop a copy of my novel in the post (along with some chapbooks) for you to read - or just skim through - I understand that you are no doubt busy - but I thought it was worth reaching out.

All the best,


Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Hi, Mark. You can contact me directly by e-mail at If you send me your snail mail address, I will send you mine and we can trade books.