Item #138 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this copy of Jack London's The Iron Heel. There is no date or publisher information given. 254 pages, it measures about 6" x 9" and is in very good condition. The provenance is that I ordered it from Amazon on June 23, 2012.
I haven't read this book . . yet. I originally ordered it because author Jack London was an influence on Jack Kerouac, and somewhere in my reading (post a comment if you know) I noted that Kerouac had been reading this particular title (a major influence on Kerouac was London's hobo-themed The Road, which is a great read). Additionally, the subject matter -- a future dystopia where an oligarchy retains control through terror (think 1984) -- seemed prescient and relevant. If I thought it was prescient and relevant in 2012, what must I think in 2018?
The Iron Heel was first published in 1907, making it one of the earliest examples of its genre. Its Kerouac connection is clear -- London influenced Kerouac and Kerouac apparently read this title -- so it makes sense to have a place for it on your Kerouac bookshelf.
Below is a picture of Shelf #5 (last one!) of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (3rd from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: The Beat Face of God: The Beat Generation Writers as Spirit Guides by Stephen D. Edington.
|Shelf #5 of my Kerouac bookshelf|