Monday, May 7, 2018

Curation #42 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Orpheus Emerged by Jack Kerouac

Item #42 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Orpheus Emerged by Jack Kerouac. It's an ibooks publication copyrighted in 2000 and showing that it's a first printing. It's in very good shape and is more of a novella than a novel, comprising 136 pages in a 6" x 7-3/4" book. Its provenance is that I bought it new from The Bookery in Ithaca, NY, on February 5, 2005. I know this because the receipt was tucked away in its pages and I sort of remember doing so.

Obviously, this was published posthumously by Kerouac's Estate. I panned it after my first read, but I am embarrassed to read that blog post given how much more I know about Kerouac now than I did in 2011 when I finally got around to reading it. Here's the link if you're interested in what a dumbass I was and am:

This edition has an introduction by the legendary Robert Creeley and concludes with several informative short sections (excerpts from Jack's journals, a piece on the Beat movement, a short biography of Kerouac, and so on). As was his practice, this is a roman à clef novel and tells the story of Kerouac's early encounters with the original and seminal Beat characters like Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Carr (an underrated influence on the Beat movement) in the early forties at Columbia University.

I need to re-read this book and give an updated take on it. My bucket list is getting full of such tasks....

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (23rd item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Heaven & Other Poems by Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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