The Road Toward Visions of Cody

The Road to Visions of Cody

In March 2015, Jack Kerouac's masterpiece, Visions of Cody, will be reprinted by Library of America (along with Visions of Gerard and Big Sur). Edited by Todd Tietchen, the novel has been extensively annotated with notes and a number of editorial idiosyncrasies restored.  * * * In the months following Jack Kerouac's April 1951 typing of On the Road, an act born out of a need … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac’s “Strange Cemetery in Jamaica”

In the background, the "gastank" can be seen which is actually a water tank for the railroad.

--- from a work-in-progress, I, Duluoz!: An Appreciation of Jack KerouacIf I had to pick my favorite poem of Jack Kerouacʼs, it would be “Strange Cemetery in Jamaica” published in Some of the Dharma (1997). Strangely, or even tragically, it was omitted from the Library of America volume of Kerouacʼs Collected Poems, as it signifies Kerouacʼs creative breakthrough of … [Read more...]

An interview on Jack Kerouac and Library of America

Jack Kerouac - Library of America

March 2015 will mark the occasion of the publication of the third volume of Jack Kerouac works published by Library of America. I took this occasion to catch up with editor, Todd Tietchen, assistant professor of English at University of Massachusetts Lowell. The book is a chronological publishing continuum of the first volume and contains the groundbreaking novel Visions of … [Read more...]

Paul Maher Jr. considers Kerouac’s Haunted Life

The Haunted Life and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac

The Haunted Life and Other Writings / Da Capo Press / March 11, 2014 / 208 pp.Seventy years ago, in May 1944, Jack Kerouac toiled over a novella-length work set in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was written at the prompting of his two newest friends, the mischievous nihilist Lucien Carr and the budding poet, Allen Ginsberg. He titled it The Haunted Life and it was never … [Read more...]

Love That Loves Us: The Two Loves of To the Wonder

To the Wonder

note: Here there be spoilersBy now it is cliche to label a Terrence Malick film a "visual poem," but in the case of To The Wonder, that is what it is. Malick's cinematic eye defers to poetry more strongly than that of cinema and though I'm certain that he doesn't regard himself as a poet, he has taken the raw matter of his sensorium and fashioned it into something that … [Read more...]

Addendum to “Lost Letter Found”

Kerouac - The Sea is My Brother

Here is an addendum to a previous article written for Empty Mirror. Herewith I will describe the contents of the "lost" letter in both the U.K. and U.S. trade editions of The Sea is My Brother so that you may fill in a hole in the narrative of the book.As I read through the Viking (U.K.) edition of The Sea is My Brother, I noted that the editor, Dawn Ward explained that … [Read more...]

from a novel-in-progress . . . .

2harbor-e1365987502148

i We backtracked from the northern path after losin’ our way, me n’ my brother, to Tempest County. We’d been on n' indian trail for three days, movin’ by night, restin’ in orchards n’ groves n’ swamps and two times we stayed in some ole’ huntin’ shack when the elements got right difficult to continue any longer. We found bear grease and scooped it for eatin’. That was our only … [Read more...]

A “lost” Jack Kerouac letter found . . . and “lost” again.

Kerouac - The Sea is My Brother

In the U.K. edition of Jack Kerouac's 1945 novel, The Sea Is My Brother (Penguin 2011), there is an addendum of material meant to represent Jack Kerouac's formative writing experience during the early to mid-1940s. The thrust of this formative experience, according to this added text, hinged on Kerouac's sporadic friendship with Sebastian Sampas. Never mind the willful … [Read more...]

The Great Consciousness of Life

grass

Reaching in, pulling out. The great divide is conquered; and there lies an ever-evolving mission to extract meaning from chaos. This, then, is where it resides, the theater of the soul and the heart.In rewriting my biography of Jack Kerouac, I found that the only way to revisit that book once again was to take all of Jack Kerouac's epic letters to Neal Cassady, all of … [Read more...]

Terrence Malick, Badlands and Caril Fugate: An Interview

caril ann fugate

Photos courtesy of Jeff McArthur (All Rights Reserved)Jeff McArthur is the author of Pro Bono: The 18-Year Defense of Caril Fugate. Mr. McArthur’s grandfather, John C. McArthur, defended Caril Fugate in her trial for her part in the Starkweather murders that occurred in 1959 and would do so for the next eighteen years in her attempts to apply for … [Read more...]

Kerouac & An American Marriage

kerouac Gide

(an excerpt from a work-in-progress)In January 1945, Jack Kerouac set out to write his Great American Novel. His newly-drafted notes embraced the activities of the last four years and scaffolded the events up to, during and after his hastily-arranged marriage to Edie Parker on August 22, 1944. He titled this new tome An American Marriage.Kerouac's relationship with Edie … [Read more...]

Are There Any Good Unpublished Kerouac Books Left?

notebooks

With the glut of books that thankfully made our way in the past 20 years or so, we now have (probably) just as many posthumous titles as those Kerouac published in his lifetime. These have added exponentially to our understanding toward what Kerouac achieved in his own right as an American writer. However, there is still much more that can be published. Or, think of them as my … [Read more...]