Allen Ginsberg – Montreal 1989 – ( Q & A – (Catholic Kerouac))

A flyer from the 2009 production in New York of Larry Myers play –“Jack Kerouac: Catholic” – “He (Jack) was proud of being a Canuck Catholic” (Allen Ginsberg)

Q: May I (now) ask you another question?

AG Yeah

Q: Jack Kerouac abandoned his Catholicism, which was the Church in which he had been brought up. You mentioned that, and at the same time, you coupled it with a statement that seemed to suggest that you are returning to a Kabbalistic or Hassidic tradition. How do you reconcile a return to a traditional Jewish root with an enthusiastic interest in Hare Krishna…It is… Do you think that a rabbinical tradition can, in some way, be reconciled with a Hindu or Hare Krishna tradition?

AG: Yeah, Okay. Well, first of all, about Kerouac. Actually, he didn’t really reject the Catholic tradition. In fact, I was a pall-bearer in St-Jean Baptiste Church in Lowell last week and he got a full High Mass burial with a rosary between his paws. He had gone into, like, Buddhist studies, very heavily, and I don’t think he ever did reconcile the difference between an Atheist Buddhist void universe, nirvana of the Buddhists, and the Personal Saviour-Lamb-Sacred Heart sweetness-and-softness of the Christ that he had in mind. And he wound up drinking himself to death, actually, I think with that conflict there.

Q: Well, of course, there were two Kerouacs…(Jack and Ti Jean)

AG: Yeah – but .. And he did both actually. It’s amazing. Like, he died both (ways)

Q: Jean…

AG: Jean-Louise Lebris de Kerouac was his name actually, and he was proud of being, like, a Canuck Catholic. And that was, like a heavy part of his personality. As well as a learned Buddhist at other moments. So it’s like….

Q: Do you think you can solve the (dilemma)?…

to be continued

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-three minutes in and concluding at approximately thirty-five-and-a-quarter minutes in ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *