Item #50 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is the last item on Shelf #1. It is a copy of The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, a 35th printing of a 1976 Penguin Books edition. It's in the same condition as yesterday's copy of On The Road (very rough) and the provenance is uncertain.
I've opined previously in this curation project about The Dharma Bums here and here. What's left to say regards this particular copy, and to understand its meaning to me one need only visit yesterday's blog post about On The Road here. Like that copy, this one is well-used. It has sentimental value as one of the first three Kerouac novels I read -- the actual copy -- and I used it to teach my Kerouac course at University of Maine at Farmington. Also, it was the copy I used when writing my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions.
In short, this a prized possession right up there with my "working" copy of On The Road, and, to top it off, The Dharma Bums is my favorite Kerouac novel (evidence being my license plate, DHRMABM). I know real critics will disagree that it is even one of his best, but that's okay. Opinions are like, well, you know . . . and everybody has one.
Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (on its side in front of the upright books) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: We start on Shelf #2 with Some of the Dharma by Jack Kerouac.
Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf