Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Kerouac three-fer date


Gore Vidal, Elise Cowen, and Ruth Weiss (L-R)

Writer and bon vivant Gore Vidal died on this date -- July 31-- in 2012, Beat poet Elise Cowen was born on this date in 1933, and Beat poet Ruth Weiss died on this date in 2020. Vidal appeared in Jack Kerouac's The Subterraneans as Arial Lavalina and in Old Angel Midnight as Gore Bedavalled. Cowen appeared as Barbara Lipp in Desolation Angels. I could not verify that Weiss appeared in any of Kerouac's works.

I said a little bit more about Gore and Cowen on their birth and death dates HERE and HERE. Gore was born 8 years before Cowen but outlived her by many years (86 v. 28). Weiss's obit has details on her life HERE

Given my personal history with depression, I should note here that Cowen ended her own life (not dissimilarly to Natalie Jackson) by throwing herself out of her parents' 7th floor window.

If you are thinking about suicide or just need someone to talk to about emotional distress in your life, you can text Crisis Text Line at 741741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

RIP, Mr.* Vidal and Ms.* Weiss, and Happy Birthday, Ms.* Cowen.

*These are guesses at preferred pronouns. If I'm wrong, let me know.


Anonymous said...

I so appreciate you reminding me of these birthdays and death days. It's good to remember.
As a fellow sufferer of depression, I thank you for your openness.
Hope all is well there for you and that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in these challenging times.

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

Thanks, Robin. It's my pleasure to remind folks of of these important dates. And to be open about depression!