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Neal Cassady Shall Be Justified: Read The Joan Anderson Letter That Inspired Jack Kerouac’s On The Road

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In 1950 Neal Cassady chocked down mouthfuls of speed and wrote a 16,000 words, 18-page letter to hgis friend Jack Kerouac. In it he recalled a trip to Denver and a dalliance with a Joan Anderson. Kerouac was writing On The Road.  After reading Cassady’s letter he began it anew.

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Posted: 24th, November 2014 | In: Books, Reviews | Comment (1)


Jack Kerouac’s Google Driving Directions: On the Road for 17,527 Mile

 

THIS is what you need: a  copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road map .

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Posted: 13th, October 2014 | In: Books | Comment


Jack Kerouac’s original sketch for On The Road (and all the book’s covers)

JACK Kerouac was so unimpressed by the cover his publishers stuck on The Town and the City, he sketched the one he wanted for OneThe Road.

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Posted: 10th, October 2013 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment


Drunk Jack Kerouac debates ‘hippie” and its meaning with a pompous William F. Buckley – Fernanda Pivano just gets it

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JACK Kerouac, author of the classic, On the Road liked a drink or three.

In this video, Kerouac talks with writer Fernanda Pivano. He is three sheets to the wind:

In 1965, Kerouac was on the magic box again. William F. Buckley was in the chair, whose pomposity and self-regard is hilarious.

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Posted: 9th, October 2013 | In: Books, Flashback, TV & Radio | Comment


In 1965, Jack Kerouac and his mother were On The Road to New Orleans

**FILE** Author Jack Kerouac laughs in this 1967 file photo in Lowell, Mass. The Cape Cod house once owned by Kerouac is up for sale. James Upton, the present owner of the three-bedroom, two-bath house, said that with his three children now grown, he no longer needs the space. He bought it in 1986 for $115,000 and is now asking $356,000. (AP Photo/Stanley Twardowicz, File)

IN 1965, Jack Keroauc narrated his a trip to New Orleans with his  mother (“Memère”) for the May issue of Holiday:

There’s hardly anything in the world, or at least in America, more miserable than a transcontinental bus trip with limited means. More than three days and three nights wearing the same clothes, bouncing around into town after town; even at three in the morning, when you’ve finally fallen asleep, there you are being bounced over the railroad tracks of a town, and all the lights are turned on bright to reveal your raggedness and weariness in the seat. To do that, as I’d done so often as a strong young man, is bad enough; but to have to do that when you’re a sixty-two-year-old lady … yet Memère is more cheerful than I, and she devises a terrific trick to keep us in fairly good shape—aspirins with Coke three times a day to calm the nerves.

From mid-Florida we roll in the late afternoon over orange-grove hills toward the Tallahassee and Mobile of morning, no prospect of New Orleans till noon and already fair exhausted. Such an enormous country, you realize when you cross it on buses, the dreadful stretches between equally dreadful cities, all of them looking the same when seen from the bus of woes, the never-get-there bus stopping everywhere, and worst of all the string of fresh enthusiastic drivers every two or three hundred miles warning everyone to relax and be happy.

Sometimes during the night I look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no-family, no-nothing—just myself, the stupid son of plans all compacted of eventual darkness. God, how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life.

Spotter: Longform, via Sully

Posted: 3rd, August 2013 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment


Jack Kerouac On The I Annihilation Of Self Promotion

HERE is an excerpts from Jack Kerouac’s letters:

I can just see the shabby literary man carrying a “bulging briefcase” rushing from one campus to another, one lecture club to another, nodding confirmation with his hosts that he is right, hurrying to the next town … a whole gray career of proving himself to others, to as many as can hear him, that he was right … till finally people say: “Here comes the self-prover again, O dear … bring out the papers and the canapes.”

This my friend is what I will become if I accept all lecture offers, TV appearances, radio interviews and start arranging with reviewers and critics who want information and my books through me, a great long lifetime in a briefcase proving my work and my work itself stopped dead at the level where I took to proving myself. So, I say, life is too sweet to waste on self propaganda, I quit self promotion, I enter my page.

Talent speaks for itself…

Spotter: Andrew Sullivan

Posted: 10th, October 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment