Friday’s Weekly Round-Up – 555

Jack Kerouac Centennial tomorrow

Check out our pre-birthday note from 2019 – here

Allen’s photos of Jack will be on display in Lowell, as part of the celebrations, as a prominent part of the celebrations, (alongside a twenty-four-foot portion of the original On The Road scroll, courtesy its owner, Jim Irsay, and much more), in the exhibit, “Visions of Kerouac”,
at the Boott Cotton Mills Gallery – see here

Jack Kerouac, Tangier Morocco, April 1957. Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries / Allen Ginsberg Estate

The past week, Please Kill Me, have been featuring a Kerouac post a day – all are worth reading  – Monday – Alan Bisbort – Jack and Music – Jack Kerouac at 100 – His Magical Jukebox, Tuesday – Erika Blair on Alene Lee – the true “Mardou Fox” of The Subterraneans – Alene Lee – The Heart of A Subterranean, Wednesday – Catherine de Leon  on Doctor Sax and The Great World Snake – Kerouac’s Forgotten Opus – Thursday – Paul Maher JrKerouac – On The Verge of Fame

Simon Warner surveys Kerouac’s biographers, Ann Charters, Joyce Johnson, Denis McNally , Paul Maher Jr, Steve Turner and Nicola Bardola, to elicit “some centenary thoughts” and “some suitable music to remember him by” – in a fascinating piece – here 

Ann Charters:  “I celebrate Kerouac’s centennial by thanking him for sharing his genius with us in his writing.  I’m particularly grateful for his remarkable act of generosity to me in August 1966, when he invited me to his home in Hyannis, MA, to help me compile his bibliography. For his steadfast dedication to language & to the art of storytelling, we will never cease to love the open-hearted genius of Jack Kerouac”

Joyce Johnson: “I keep hoping he’ll come to be read less as a culture hero of the quaint 1950s and more as a great American Twentieth Century writer. The full understanding of Jack and his work has been too long blocked and delayed. But the road is finally open now to a new generation of biographers and scholars”

WVTF, Virginia Public Radio featured three Beat scholars – Hilary Holladay (biographer of Herbert Huncke), Sam Kashner (memoirist of Naropa) and Gordon Ball

“Does Ball feel that On the Road still has something to say to 21st century kids? As much as our country has changed, our world has changed, is there still something essential and wonderful and educational about Kerouac?

“That’s a good question certainly in the face of the pandemic,” he says, “but yes, as Ginsberg would say, ‘His basic message was suffering,’ and I would say one of sympathy. Steve Allen was a radio and TV show host – sort of like an intellectual Ed Sullivan, and he had Kerouac on, interviewed him and Kerouac read from On the Road, and at one point Steve Allen asked him, ‘So what does Beat mean?’ and Kerouac answered in one word – sympathetic.”

Kevin E.G.Perry interviews David Amram for the (London) Independent
Dave Sutor on the Centennial in the Tribute-Democrat, Jonestown, Pennsylvania

Beats and Jazz – “Bebop, Beats and the drive of Beat Literature” – Don’t miss Arthur R George‘s comprehensive overview for All About Jazz

Tom Peters, proprietor of Boulder’s Beat Bookstore gets a justified focus – here and here – and here (a note on Boulder, Colorado’s celebration of the 100)

The Kerouac House in St Petersburg, Florida will celebrate with an open house tomorrow – see here
City Lights will of course be celebrating – see here  (and last night there was this one)
The Beat Museum – ditto 
Joyce Johnson, Hettie Jones, Bob Rosenthal and Bob Holman are among those celebrating in New York at Dixon Place

There’ll be a read-a-thon in Oxford, England

and Kerouac – the French connection – check out CBC/Radio Canada’s profile here
–  and the panel, “Jack Kerouac, 100 ans, toujours vivant!“, (scheduled for Tuesday)

Holly George-Warren, the newly-sanctioned official biographer, appears on another panel (Sunday)

Greetings from Rome  – (and Italy – (see Marco Moretti’s series – here, here, here, here & here)

Greetings from Moldovia!

…and the list could (and will of course) go on and on..


Noting the passing, aged 84, of the great Argentinian countercultural figure, friend (and sometime translator) of Allen’s, the one-of-a-kind,  Miguel Grinberg.

Here’s the two of them in Cuba, January 1965 – Allen’s inscription: “Miguel Grinberg,  Eco Contemporáneo editor, Buenas Aires, Havana, Cuba, before I got deported..”

Here’s Miguel in an iconic shot with Nicanor Parra and Allen from that same period

Satori Sur – Federico Rotstein’s documentary

& Bob Dylan announces his new book this week, The Philosophy of Modern Song, out in November – “He analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song” – We can’t wait to read it!

Leave a Reply

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