[Jack Kerouac reading at The Village Vanguard, December 1957. Photo via Dave Moore on Paul Maher Jr’s Jack Kerouac-Writer ]
Another Ginsberg letter today – this one to Allen (dated November 30, 1957 – sixty years ago today) from Jack Kerouac in Orlando, Florida to Allen in Paris. Jack confesses he’s drunk, and broke, but writing up a storm (writing Dharma Bums) and looking toward the future.
Dear Allen. Your poem [“Kaddish’] very beautiful, especially “eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an ambulance” (why don’t you spell it “aumbulance” which would mean aum-vehicle…)…well, and Greg’s [Gregory Corso’s] “sweetly in … Read More
William Blake and the Age of Aquarius, a stunning new show opened this past week at the Block Museum at Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois). Above is a reproduction of the catalog cover. The exhibition, curated by Northwestern University art professor, Stephen F Eisenman, is a breakthrough exhibit, exploring, for the first time, “the impact of British visionary poet and artist William Blake on a broad range of American artists in the post-World War II period” (notably, (but by no means confined to), Allen Ginsberg and fellow members of the Beat Generation – Allen as promoter and propagandist, conduit and curator, … Read More
Next week in Paris (September 20-22) sees the sixth Annual Conference of the European Beat Studies Network – “The Transcultural Beat Generation” is this year’s focus “(Collaboration. Publication, Translation)”. The three days are broken down as follows: Wednesday, the 20th – “French Edition(s) and Beat Intellectual Life in Paris” – Thursday, the 21st – “Beat Translation and Collaboration” – Friday the 22nd – “Marginalized Beat Artists”.
Of the specifically Ginsbergian – Thursday-evening (6-7.30) has been given over to a panel on Allen, chaired by Anna Aublet) – (rather unfortunately, it clashes with a panel on William Burroughs (chaired by … Read More
[Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, and John Ashbery – (Photographer Unknown)]
“….exquisite mind cartoons that could be heard with eyes closed, the voice perfectly ordinary with the slight edge of extravagant conversational camp, a mind artifice not unnatural to hypnagogic revery, deceptive, till you hear the chasm landscapes and awkward universes created and contradicted in vast gas-deposit shocking trivial universal mind.”
“For the first time since the crucifixion, there was a total lunar eclipse on the night of the seder in 1968. That apparently happened also on the night of the Last Supper and we were all aware of this. We had a seder near Duboce Park. [San Francisco] The Hells Angels were there and the Diggers were there. My son asked the Four Questions, and…asked Allen Ginsberg [as tradition … Read More
Memorable is Letterman’s shocking confession that he hadn’t actually read On The Road ! Also, we vividly recall Allen taking up sixty valuable seconds of network time, with a discomforting (for Letterman and for NBC) on-air meditation (Letterman getting increasingly antsy) – it seems that segment is missing from this version. Perhaps someone … Read More
from a “Journal during first stages of “On The Road“ (by John Kerouac [sic], 1948-49)
Monday November 29 – That’s 32,500 words since I started on Nov 9, or better than 1500 words per day…per sitting, very high. Although this is only the first draft, and I still have no idea where I’m heading with it, I delight in the figures, as always, because they are concrete evidence of a greater freedom of writing than I had in Town and the City. However, who knows … Read More