Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Jack Kerouac on this date in 1963

Allen Ginsberg

On this date in 1963 -- December 11 (my birthday!) -- Jack Kerouac wrote from Northport, NY, to his friend John Clellon Holmes. With this letter, Kerouac sent a blurb for Holmes' book, Get Home Free, saying he liked it and that some parts of it were "great." Then Jack complains about Allen Ginsberg and the "bohemian beatniks" that hang around him:
Meanwhile, Allen G. is already here, I had no time to send him to you, as a matter of fact I dont even particularly wanta see him with his pro-Castro bullshit and his long white robe Messiah shot--I mean, actually too much mixup, I wanta stay home and think and read and write--Enough talk I've had these last 6 years around NY--He and all those bohemian beatniks round him have nothing NEW to tell me--I am Thomas Hardy now and that's that, back to my moor and my house (Ker) i' the moor (ouac)--Period. (p. 427)

(Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1957-1969 edited by Ann Charters, Penguin Books, 1999)

I don't have a lot to say about that excerpt, except to point out Jack's oft-expressed desire to be left alone to focus on reading and writing (and thinking). And, of course, his frequently stated disdain for aspects of the very countercultural movement he helped create.

No comments: