Saturday, November 17, 2018

Quoting Jack Kerouac

If you have occasion to quote Jack Kerouac -- or anyone, for that matter -- it is important to make sure of two things:

1. The quoted person actually said or wrote the words.

2. The quoted words are accurately reproduced.

This is easier said than done in the Internet age, as quotes run amok on-line. 

Your safest bet to quote Kerouac and be sure he said or wrote the words (#1 above) is to get your quote directly from one of his published books. You then can rest assured that he wrote them (more or less -- publishers fuck up, too). It helps to cite the book title and copyright date and publisher and page number(s). Then quote away. Even if it doesn't meet #2 above, you can blame it on the source (as long as you reproduced accurately). This includes his published letters, which, again, if it doesn't meet #2, you can blame it on the source. Another option that is less safe is to quote a legitimate secondary source such as one of the many well-regarded biographies. This won't ensure meeting #2, but, once again, you can blame it on the source.

What you should not do is take a quote from Goodreads or any of the many other quotation sources on-line. They are often not cited at all, or correctly cited, and they are often not accurate. That is, they don't meet #1 or #2 above. Note the difficulty in capturing an accurate Kerouac quote that I posted about here.

One exception to this rule seems to be the Jack Kerouac Wikiquote. It seems to meet #1 and #2 and even includes a list of misattributed Kerouac quotes. If you find a mistake on there, fix it. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Still, your best bet is to open a book like On The Road and carefully transcribe your Kerouac quote directly from the source.

And cite your work. For posterity. Please.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kerouac: Beat Painting

I didn't know there was another book of Kerouac's paintings in addition to Departed Angels: The Lost Paintings by Jack Kerouac (curated here). This is "the catalog of an exhibition mounted, between December 2017 and April 2018, at the MAGA Gallery at Gallarate in northern Italy" according to this article in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The Amazon description (see link below) says that most of the 80 paintings and drawings included here have never before been published, so you may want to get this for your Kerouac bookshelf as a supplement to Departed Angels.

Hopefully, MAGA doesn't stand for an American political slogan. I think it stands for Museo Arte Gallarate, but, if so, why the extra A? Asking for a friend . . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recent book sales and a subversive idea

I had 2 sales of my book on Amazon last month. That is infinitely better than most months (during which I sell zero books). This is a shout-out and a thank you to the person or persons who made the purchases. You rock and I hope you (or the recipients if it's a gift) enjoy it.

FYI, a while back I started donating my book royalties to a podcast -- Middle Theory -- that doesn't charge for its content but relies solely on donations from listeners. It doesn't amount to much as I don't sell many books and, when I do, the royalty is only about 27% ($7.96 total for those last two books with a cover price totaling $29.98). By the way, I highly recommend the Middle Theory podcast -- it's the only one I listen to regularly.

I know I've been hawking my book a lot this week, but Christmas is coming and it makes a great gift. It's versatile, too. You can use it as a drink coaster, kindling for a fire, wobbly table leveler, frisbee, papier-mâché material, journal (lots of white space), or -- and this is a subversive thing you can do with it -- as an item to reverse shoplift. That is, buy a copy and sneak it onto the bookshelf at a brick-and-mortar bookstore just for a prank. Finally, you could leave a copy at a Beat landmark like the White Horse Tavern in NYC or Vesuvio's in San Francisco. In fact, if you are inclined to do either of the latter and want a free copy for doing so, send me an e-mail with your plan. I'll pick the best proposal I get after a couple of weeks go by and send the chosen person an inscribed book to leave at the identified location. My e-mail is

Now let's get cracking with those proposals . . . .

Click here to purchase or use the link over on the right ----> 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Kerouac backstory on a photographer from Pull My Daisy

Happened on this article today and thought it would be of interest to readers. The author's father was a photographer who worked on the famous Beat short film, Pull My Daisy, adapted from Kerouac's play, The Beat Generation. You'll have to read almost the whole piece to find that tidbit.

Here's a link to Pull My Daisy in case you haven't seen it: click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

10 Kerouac Christmas gift ideas

Christmas gift idea #1

If you're reading this blog, I presume it means you are a Jack Kerouac fan or at least interested enough in Kerouac to land on this post. That means you might have family or friends who are interested in Kerouac, and since Christmas is coming, perhaps you would entertain some Kerouac-themed gift ideas.

To wit, below in no particular order (except #1) are 10 Kerouac-themed gift ideas for Christmas.

1. The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions by Rick Dale
This book -- my book -- answers the question, "What would Kerouac do?", by mining The Dharma Bums and On The Road. Click here to order it from Amazon. It's a great companion reader for ##7 and 8.

2. A Kerouac T-shirt
There are any number of places on-line to order Kerouac T-shirts. Just Google "Kerouac T-shirt" and you'll see options like Etsy and Teepublic, etc. Zazzle used to have some but I think the estate got after them. I only know that because they discontinued one that I created, citing copyright reasons.

3. A Kerouac coffee mug
Again, just Google the phrase and you will see options like Zazzle (not sure why the estate didn't get after them about this one) and CafePress.

4. A Kerouac button
Like the one my friend, Richard Marsh, got me as a surprise gift. You can find it on eBay by clicking here.

5. A Kerouac poster
At Redbubble you will find not only posters but also T-shirts and mugs. Click here.

6. A Kerouac video
There are lots of choices here, not the least of which would be one of the film adaptations like On The Road or Big Sur. Or the documentary, One Fast Move or I'm Gone would be a good choice. Check out The Beat Museum gift shop for some videos as well as other Kerouac schwag.

7*. On The Road by Jack Kerouac, first edition first printing inscribed by Kerouac
This is only $89,378.06 at Abebooks. What a present this would be for someone! If you need my mailing address, let me know . . . .

8*. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, first edition first printing
Click here. Not as expensive as #7, but still pricey. Again, let me know if you need my mailing address . . . .

9. The Portable Jack Kerouac edited by Ann Charters
Here's a lot of Jack in one spot for that special someone on your list.

10. A bottle of Blanton's Kentucky single barrel bourbon whiskey
I know some will say it's heresy to include booze on a Kerouac-themed Christmas gift list since he died of alcoholism, but I'm hedging my bets in case someone uses this list for ideas for me and happens upon this item. I love this bourbon like no other I've tried. Expensive. You can buy it online here.

10a. Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades by John Suiter.
This is an alternative to #10 in case it offended you. This is a beautiful, beautiful book and would be a great gift for anyone, Kerouac fan or not.

So there you have it. 10 Kerouac-themed Christmas gift ideas to spur you on as you tackle your shopping this season. If you have other ideas, let us know in a comment.

Have fun!

*A nice, cheap used copy of On The Road or The Dharma Bums or any other Kerouac novel would also be a great gift. Good alternatives are Visions of Gerard or Big Sur or Dr. Sax or The Subterraneans.

Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP to Kerouac close friend William "Billy" Koumantzelis

One of Jack Kerouac's close late-in-life friends from his hometown of Lowell died last month. William "Billy" Koumantzelis was 92. You can read about him here in the Lowell Sun.

Here's a picture of Billy that I took at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac in October 2012.

That's Billy to the left of David Amram (center, partially hidden by microphone).

Hearing Billy speak that night was a highlight of the festival for me. You can read my report from LCK 2012 here.

RIP, Billy. Say hi to Jack for us . . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Kerouac-inspired film: The Long Dumb Road

Keep your eyes peeled for The Long Dumb Road, a film inspired by Kerouac's On The Road. I can't really vouch for the film because I haven't seen it, but it may be worth checking out. Here's a snippet from Deadline Hollywood about it:
The Long Dumb Road came out of a road trip a friend of filmmaker Hannah Fidell had taken some years back. The friend was obsessed with the Jack Kerouac classic novel, On The Road, so set out for a life experience and along the way befriended a drifter while en route to Los Angeles.
Here's a link to the entire article (scroll to the end): The film got 6.9/10 on IMDB and 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it probably doesn't suck.

What's not to love about a decent road/buddy movie?