Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Curation #106 from my Kerouac bookshelf: The Backpacker by Albert Saijo

Item #106 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is this paperback 1977 (I guess) 101 Productions (no printing number) edition of Albert Saijo's The Backpacker. 193 pages, it measures about 4-1/4" x 7-1/8" and is in very good condition (except for a small rip in the front cover). The provenance is that I bought it used via Amazon, and as I promised yesterday, there is an interesting backstory to tell about that.

First, why is a book by Albert Saijo on my Kerouac bookshelf? Regular readers already know that he appeared in Jack's novel Big Sur as George Baso. And he co-authored Trip Trap: Haiku On the Road with Kerouac and Lew Welch (which I curated here). For those unfamiliar with Dave Moore's excellent Character Key to the Kerouac's Duluoz Legend, here is Saijo's entry in that character key (click here to visit the key - you can search for characters with the Control-F function):

This book is a great little matter-of-fact introduction to backpacking, with chapters/sections titled:

Which Foot First?
The Outfit
Getting the Trip Together
The Walk In

Saijo's brother, Gompers, did the illustrations throughout the book (see the cover above for an example).

Now to the backstory. When I bought this book, it came with a very lovely note from the seller about the book's provenance. I blogged about it on May 28, 2017 and you can read all about it by clicking here.

So there you have it. A book about backpacking by one of Kerouac's friends and fellow travelers, Albert Saijo. It deserves a spot on any complete Kerouac bookshelf.

Below is a picture of Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (bottom of the pile in front of the row) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead by William S. Burroughs (we start Shelf #4).

Shelf #3 of my Kerouac bookshelf

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