Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Curation #46 from my Kerouac bookshelf: Beat Generation by Jack Kerouac

Item #46 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Jack Kerouac's Beat Generation. Published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 2005, this appears to be a first printing (paperback). It's in very good condition and the provenance is uncertain (although I seem to remember it being a gift from Crystal).

Kerouac wrote this 3-act play in 1957 but never got it produced in full during his lifetime. The third act was the basis for the 1959 film, Pull My Daisy, which you can watch here. The full manuscript sat in storage until it was "re-discovered" in 2005 in a New Jersey warehouse. The world premiere of Beat Generation as a play was performed by the Merrimack Repertory Theater during the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival/Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts. I attended, and it was well done. Joey Collins, the actor who played Milo (Neal Cassady), was phenomenal -- the best I've seen (with apologies to Garrett Hedlund). You can read my review here.

This is an important addition to the Kerouac oeuvre, and deserves a spot on your own Kerouac bookshelf.

Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (27th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: Dr. Sax and the Great World Snake by Jack Kerouac.

Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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