Saturday, January 30, 2021

I provide a Jack Kerouac quote and you figure out the book (10th in a series)

Edgar Cayce

This is the 10th in a series of posts where I provide a quote from one of Jack Kerouac's books and you figure out which one. Post your answer as a comment. Here's the passage:

After awhile Pa's up and grumbling in the kitchen over his breakfast, with puffed disinterested eyes, not as Edgar Cayce explicitly reminds us, "mindful of the present vision before our eyes."

Good luck!

Oh, and remember our policy on comments (over there on the right).

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Remembering Lucien Carr, core Beat Generation member


Jack Kerouac (L) and Lucien Carr at Columbia University

Regular readers of The Daily Beat are familiar with Lucien Carr, one of the core members of the inner circle of the New York Beat Generation in the 40s. Carr died on this date -- January 28 -- in 2005 at the age of 79. He appeared in a number of Jack Kerouac's works: Damion in On The Road; Sam Vedder in The Subterraneans and Book of Dreams (expanded edition); Julien in Big Sur; Julien Love in Book of DreamsDesolation Angels, and Visions of Cody; Claude De Maubris in Vanity of Duluoz; Claude in Orpheus Emerged; Kenneth Wood in The Town and the City; Kenneth in The Haunted Life and Other Writings; and, Phillip Tourian in And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks.

Infamous for his role in the David Kammerer affair (whose murder by Carr led to Kerouac's first marriage when he promised to marry Edie Parker for bail money from her parents -- more on that HERE), Carr really needs to be recognized for his role in the original Beat Generation circle; indeed, he has been described by Allen Ginsberg as the glue that held the group together. Carr was at the center of many formative intellectual and literary conversations held among the early Beats.

Speaking of friendships, here's a picture from September 2015 of my great friend Richard Marsh and me recreating the Kerouac-Carr picture. Note who got to play each role.

Richard Marsh (L) and Rick Dale at Columbia University

Here's an excerpt about Carr as Damion from On The Road. I would point out that Kerouac calls him the hero of Kerouac's New York gang, just as Dean (Neal Cassady) was the hero of his Western gang. It's important that Kerouac equates Carr with Cassady, thus confirming Carr's significance to the Beat Generation.

The parties were enormous; there were at least a hundred people at a basement apartment in the West Nineties. People overflowed into the cellar compartments near the furnace. Something was going on in every corner, on every bed and couch-not an orgy but just a New Year's party with frantic screaming and wild radio music. There was even a Chinese girl. Dean ran like Groucho Marx from group to group, digging everybody. Periodically we rushed out to the car to pick up more people. Damion came. Damion is the hero of my New York gang, as Dean is the chief hero of the Western. They immediately took a dislike to each other. Damion's girl suddenly socked Damion on the jaw with a roundhouse right. He stood reeling. She carried him home. (Penguin Books, 1976, p. 126)


Monday, January 25, 2021

Remembering Kerouac friend, AllanTemko


Today we remember architectural critic, writer, and Pulitzer Prize winner Allan Temko, who died on this date -- January 25 -- in 2006. Temko met Jack Kerouac when they were students at Columbia, and he appeared in a number of Kerouac's works as follows: Roland Major in On The Road; Irving Minko in Book of Dreams; Irwin Minko in Desolation Angels; Allen Minko in Visions of Cody; and, Alan Minko in Book of Dreams (expanded edition).

When Kerouac (Sal Paradise) anticipates meeting up with Temko (Major) in Denver, he refers to him in On The Road as "my old college writing buddy" and ended up living with him in Tim Gray's folks' apartment there.
We each had a bedroom, and there was a kitchenette with food in the icebox, and a huge living room where Major sat in his silk dressing gown composing his latest Hemingwayan short story--a choleric, red-faced, pudgy hater of everything, who could turn on the warmest and most charming smile in the world when real life confronted him sweetly in the night. (1976, Penguin Books, p. 40)

Major (Temko) features prominently in the Denver story and then Kerouac runs into him again in San Francisco at Alfred's in North Beach where Major gets kicked out for rowdiness and the two go drinking at the Iron Pot.

For those readers who enjoy making connections, Temko's one-time girlfriend was Jean White, who was Ed White's sister. She appeared as Betty Gray in On The Road. Ed was the person who originally suggested the idea of sketching in words to Kerouac.

RIP, Mr. Temko.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

A Kerouac-related birthday


Alan Ansen in 1973

We wrote a pretty lengthy piece remembering Alan Ansen on November 12 -- click HERE -- and today we are celebrating his birthday (January 23, 1922).

Born the same year as Jack Kerouac, Ansen met Kerouac through his association with W.H. Auden. Ansen appeared in several Kerouac works: as Rollo Greb in On The Road; Austin Bromberg in The Subterraneans; Irwin Swenson in Book of Dreams and Visions of Cody; Amadeus Baroque in Doctor Sax; and, Allen Ansen in Book of Sketches.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Ansen. We aspire to having "IT," like you obviously did (see my November 12 post above). Go go go . . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Hope in On The Road

On this day of days, the word "hope" is on my mind, and I wondered how many times Jack Kerouac used the word in On The Road. A little searching yielded the following instances from my 1976 Penguin Books edition:

I hope you get where you're going, and be happy when you do. (p. 32)

"Dear Paw, I'll be home Wednesday. Everything's all right with me and I hope the same is with you. Richard." (p. 34)

And I said, "That last thing is what you can't get, Carlo. Nobody can get to that last thing. We keep on living in hopes of catching it once for all." (p. 48)

"Fine. I hope it's all right my staying here." (p. 101)

In these days Carlo had developed a tone of voice which he hoped sounded like what he called The Voice of Rock; the whole idea was to stun people into the realization of the rock. (p. 130)

"I hope I'm not around when you try it," said Jane from the kitchen. (p. 146)

"Take it easy, Dean, we'll get there, I hope; hup, there's the ferry, you don't have to drive us clear into the river." (p. 147)

"Well, good-by, Galatea, and I hope everything works out fine." (p. 205)

"Well, I hope you boys make it to New York." (p. 229)

"Well, Dean," said my aunt, "I hope you'll be able to take care of your new baby that's coming and stay married this time." (p. 253)

"I hope you'll be in New York when I get back," I told him. (p. 253)

"All I hope, Dean, is someday we'll be able to live on the same street with our families and get to be a couple of oldtimers together." (p. 254)


There you have it. Make of it what you will. If you need context for any of the quotes and want to read the surrounding passage, I listed the page number for each one so you can get close.

I hope you have hope today.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Remembering Gregory Corso


(L-R) Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, & Gregory Corso

Streetwise Beat poet Gregory Corso died this date -- January 17 -- in 2001 at the age of 70. An important inner circle Beat Generation figure (and youngest), Corso appeared in a number of Jack Kerouac's works: Yuri Gligoric in The Subterraneans; Raphael Urso in Book of Dreams and Desolation Angels (also as Gregory in the latter); and, Manuel in Beat Generation.

Corso had a tough upbringing and experienced foster homes, orphanages, prison, and even time in Bellevue Hospital. You can read a bio and some of his poetry by clicking HERE.

I never met Corso and only know him from reading about him. He strikes me as the kind of person who keeps you off balance and you never know when he is serious. The kind of person who enjoys fucking with your head. Admittedly, this is one of my least favorite personality types. Nevertheless, he was an accomplished poet and an integral member of the Beat Generation. And I may be wrong about him -- let me know if you have reason to think so.

I glanced through my copies of Kerouac's selected letters and noticed that several times he wrote to Corso along with Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, but there is one lengthy letter written to Corso alone when Jack was in Northport on October 13, 1956. An excerpt follows:
I just read your latest letter to Allen about Zen-nutty and you're right, in fact I've not been able to "meditate" or make any buddhist scene now for a long time and have actually started writing catholic poems and sending them to Jubilee Magazine tho I'm aware that all the scenes are the same empty scene. Your criticism of buddhism in other words is fairly accurate but you mustnt let yourself be fooled every moment of your life into believing there's any special "reality" to either life or death, you say people die real deaths but in a few hundred years who's to remember or notice that it was real death? (Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1957-1969, 1999, p. 178, Penguin Books)

RIP, Mr. Corso.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Happy Birthday to Kerouac friend, Alan Harrington


We remembered writer Alan Harrington back in May -- you can read that by clicking HERE. Today, January 16, is his birthday (1919). He appeared in several Kerouac novels: as Hal Hingham in On The Road; Early Wallington in Book of Dreams; and, Worthington in Book of Dreams (expanded edition).

Harrington introduced Jack Kerouac to John Clellon Holmes, no small matter given the deep friendship that ensued between them -- "brother souls" as my great friend Richard Marsh would point out.

An interesting blog post with info about Harrington is available HERE. I still haven't read any of his work, but it's on my (long) list of things to do.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Harrington.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Happy Birthday to Beat poet, Lenore Kandel


We remembered Lenore Kandel back in October (click HERE) and today we wish her a happy birthday in Beat poet heaven (January 14, 1932). She appeared in Jack Kerouac's Big Sur as Romana Swartz.

Click HERE for Michael Dennis' poetry blog post about Lenore; it includes some of her poetry as well as analysis. Warning: It's not for the faint of sexual heart and it's most definitely Not Safe For Work (#NSFW).

Happy Birthday, Ms. Kandel.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Remembering Bob Kaufman


Today we remember Beat poet Bob Kaufman, who died on this date -- January 12 -- in 1986.  He appeared as Chuck Berman in Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels.

You can read Kaufman's bio and some of his poetry by clicking here. Kaufman took a vow of silence the day President Kennedy was assassinated and didn't speak until the end of the Vietnam War. That's an impressive feat.

Kaufman was part of the Beat poetry movement in San Francisco. He started the journal, Beatitude, with Allen Ginsberg and others. His most recent collection of poetry was published by City Lights in October 2019 (available here).

Interestingly -- to me at least -- the couple of times that he is mentioned in Gerald Nicosia's Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, Kaufman is partying with Jack at significant transition points: once right after Gary Snyder leaves for Japan, and once right after Jack leaves Ferlinghetti's cabin in Big Sur.

I get the sense that Kaufman is generally underestimated as a poet -- you would do well to check out his work.

RIP, Mr. Kaufman.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

A Kerouac two-fer date


Herbert Huncke (L) and Amiri Baraka

Kerouac muse Herbert Huncke and noted writer Amiri Baraka share this date, Huncke having been born on January 9, 1915 and Baraka having died on January 9, 2014.

Huncke was Elmer Hassel in Kerouac's On The Road; Huck in Desolation AngelsBook of Dreams, and Visions of Cody; Hunkey in Lonesome Traveler; and Junkey in The Town and the City. Baraka appeared under his actual former name, Leroi Jones, in Lonesome Traveler.

Both of these Kerouac contemporaries led fascinating lives and I encourage you to read up on them if you are not already familiar with their stories. Kerouac is often credited with coining the phrase, "Beat Generation," and he likely got the term "beat" from Huncke (click HERE for bio). Baraka was an accomplished poet and activist -- click HERE for some biographical info on him as well as some of his poems.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Huncke and RIP, Mr. Baraka.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy Birthday to Alan Watts


Writer/philosopher and self-professed spiritual entertainer Alan Watts was born on this date -- January 6 -- in 1915. He appeared in two Kerouac novels: as Arthur Whane in The Dharma Bums and as Alex Aums in Desolation Angels.

Watts was a big influence on my thinking about spiritual matters, and I encourage you to seek out his books and videos (many on YouTube). He is thought-provoking, instructive, and funny.  Click HERE for one of my favorite Watts lecture segments animated by the creators of South Park

I posted about Kerouac and Watts on July 24, 2011 (click HERE).

Happy Birthday in heaven or wherever you are, Mr. Watts.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The origin of the name, "Duluoz"


We've written about The Duluoz Legend in the past (click HERE). Duluoz was Jack Kerouac's pseudonym for himself in his works that would eventually comprise one vast book about his life a la Proust (see intro to Big Sur).

Today I got an e-mail from a reader (thanks, John) about the significance of the name, so I revisited my above post and realized that I left out the origin story. So here it is:

According to Kerouac biographer Paul Maher Jr., Jack first came up with the name as a pseudonym for himself in Vanity of Duluoz (see Kerouac: His Life and Work, pp. 93-94). 

According to Satori in Paris, it's a variant of the Breton surname Daoulas and one which Kerouac invented in his "writerly youth." Jack came across the name Daoulas, the name of a Greek family in Lowell, while working at The Lowell Sun. The intro notes to "The Joy of Duluoz" in Atop an Underwood were quite instructive in this matter.

In case you wondered, it's pronounced as 3 syllables with the accent on the first: DEW-loo-oz.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Happy New Year!

Forgot to wish readers a Happy New Year . . . so, Happy New Year to one and all! 2021 is off to a rocky start -- what with Congressional shenanigans re: the election-that-wouldn't die and COVID surging worldwide -- but we do have some vaccinations taking place and the ocean hasn't swallowed any cities whole (yet).

Side note: George Carlin would likely be rooting for COVID (e.g., see 

Anyway, it's a new year. Maybe this will be the year of the technological singularity and AI will run amok. Who knows what could happen? The mind boggles at the possibilities.

And what does any of that have to do with Jack Kerouac, you ask? Nothing except everything, as he was a keen observer of the human condition and it would be quite interesting to get his take on current events (as it would Carlin's).

Well, it's time for the noon local news fix. God save us all.... 

Peace out.