Monday, May 17, 2021

Remembering Leo Kerouac, Jack's father

                                             


Joseph Alcide Léon Kirouack, known as Leo, died on this date -- May 17 -- in 1946 at the age of 56 in Ozone Park, Queens, New York. Leo appeared in several of his son Jack's books: Emil Alcide Duluoz in Visions of Gerard, Emil (Pop) Duluoz in Doctor Sax/Visions of Cody/Vanity of Duluoz, George Martin in The Town and the City, Emil in Maggie Cassidy/Desolation Angels, Pa in Book of Dreams, Charlie Martin in The Sea is My Brother, and Joe Martin in The Haunted Life and Other Writings.

Leo's death greatly affected Jack, who promised Leo on his deathbed that he'd look after his mother, Gabrielle (and did -- some would say to a fault -- for the rest of his life). Jack tenderly and tragically describes his father's death at home from stomach cancer in The Town and the City (Chapter 3 of Part 5).

Leo is buried in the St. Louis de Gonzague Cemetery in Nashua, New Hampshire.

RIP, Mr. Kerouac.


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Happy 91st Birthday to Gary Snyder

                                                 


Regular Daily Beat readers know that acclaimed poet and environmentalist Gary Snyder was immortalized in Jack Kerouac's best novel*, The Dharma Bums, as Japhy Ryder (he also appears once as Gary, an editing error). He appeared as Jarry Wagner in Desolation Angels and Big Sur, and as himself in Vanity of Duluoz.

Snyder turns 91 today! He is the only reader left alive from the famous 1955 Six Gallery poetry reading, and he's also one of a small number of close friends of Kerouac who are still around.

Click HERE for a brief bio and some of his poetry.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Snyder. And many more....


*Regular readers likewise know that I am just trolling them by calling The Dharma Bums Jack's best novel. It is, indeed, my favorite, but I would hesitate to argue that it's his best work.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Remembering poet Michael McCLure

 

Michael McClure in 2004
(c) Gloria Graham

Poet Michael McClure died a year ago today -- May 4, 2020. He was one of the longest-living central Beat Generation figures, and appeared in several Jack Kerouac novels: Ike O'Shay in The Dharma Bums; McLear in Big Sur; and, Patrick McLear in Desolation Angels.

It would be an appropriate remembrance to read some of his poetry today, which you can easily do via some Googling. Or if you're so inclined, click HERE.

RIP, Mr. McClure


Monday, May 3, 2021

"Jack Kerouac: Basking in the Golden Eternity" by Catherine De Leon

 


My friend, Cat -- who knows a lot about Jack Kerouac and the Beats -- recently had a piece on Kerouac published at Please Kill Me. I think Daily Beat readers would enjoy reading her thoughts on our boy. 

Click HERE to access the article.