Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Unknown Kerouac

A picture of my copy that arrived this past week

Edited by Todd Tietchen, Associate Professor of English at UMass Lowell, The Unknown Kerouac: Rare, Unpublished & Newly Translated Writings, offers "a substantial and vital enlargement of the Kerouac canon...." (p. xv).

For extreme Kerouac fans who've read every novel, poem, essay, and letter by the man and ache for more, this is an essential volume for their collection. The same goes for Kerouac scholars, who will appreciate both the content and thoughtful introduction by editor Tietchen as well his set-ups that put each piece into historical and literary perspective. The casual reader, too, should find something of interest here, at least in the fiction pieces if not the essays and journal entries.

Since it arrived this week -- a busy one -- I have not had time to peruse the book yet, but I have thumbed through the 466 pages in an effort to start prioritizing what to read first. It's a hard choice, but I may start with "Journal 1951," which received high praise in the Kerouac Facebook group (which you should ask to join if you have not already done so). Or maybe the interview with Kerouac by his friend John Clellon Holmes. Or maybe ... oh, never mind. It's an impossible task to prioritize the readings, and. actually, I did take time to read a very short entry -- the first one - titled "On Frank Sinatra."

Click here to buy the book. You won't regret it.

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