Remember the University Archives auction of Jack Kerouac items that we reported on a few months back? A new installment is due to hit the block on Wednesday. Part 3 (somehow we missed Part 2) includes “almost fifty lots of Kerouac’s apparel, books and beloved possessions”, (including his much-loved crucifix, his personal tobacco pouch, his Panama hat, his velvet slippers, the wedding band he presented to his third wife, Stella, and (perhaps a tad incongruous) the mailbox from his sometime Orlando, Florida residence). There’s a brief note from Allen but it’s a minor one, a note to the Estate, posthumously, supporting the publication of one of Kerouac’s posthumous books
The high profile item is a letter, four pages, handwritten and signed and dated (Oct. 26, 1954), to fellow poet (and fellow Catholic), Robert Lax . The letter, as the auction house declares, “explores Christianity, Buddhism, spirituality, philosophy and linguistics.”
It concludes: “… That’s why, solitude, non-involvement, sincere dedication to holy realization is my lone way. I’m no saint, I’m sensual, I can’t resist wine, am liable to sneers + secret wraths + attachments to imaginary lures before my eyes – but I intend to ascend by stages + self-control to Vow to help all sentient beings find enlightenment and holy escape from the sin and stain of life-body itself – I’m afraid of going to France – impatience is my chief weakness – but thank God I’m a lazy bum, because of that repose will come + in repose the secret, and in the secret: – Ceaseless Ecstasy. – (‘Nirvana, as when the rain puts out a little fire’)
Here’s Kerouac’s corduroy & plaid flannel slippers!
Here’s his framed picture (sacred object) of his deceased older brother, Gerard
At the same auction (and the big-ticket item) the handwritten lyrics by Bob Dylan to his classic “Like A Rolling Stone” (a single 8 ½ by 11-inch sheet along with his signature – estimate – $75,000-$85,000).