October Ghost

JK - Kerouac typewriter

The smudged days of October—when my mood is hand in hand with the weather—remind me of Jack Kerouac. He died in October, on the 21st, and the anniversary of that day always comes and goes like a local subway suddenly gone express. I watch it pass, thinking I should do something, somehow commemorate the event, but I never do anything at all.I am aware that it is no longer … [Read more...]

Book Review – Kenton Crowther’s Kerouac on the Binge

Kerouac: On the Binge by Kenton Crowther

Kenton Crowther's latest short e-book, a 3200-word essay titled Kerouac on the Binge (perhaps rather indelicately), is not an in-depth study of the author and his work, but rather the thoughtful musings of one who has read Kerouac's works in depth, and has something to say about them.You might see the word "binge" and think it refers to drinking. And, that's certainly … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Kerouac Before the Jazz: a review of “The Haunted Life”

The Haunted Life and Other Writings by Jack Kerouac

There are some great lost manuscripts in American literature and some are truly lost. Ernest Hemingway famously lost the only draft of the first short stories he ever wrote on a French train. Most writers have "lost" manuscripts, conspicuously placed in quotes because those stories for whatever reason the writer has are socked away until after their deaths (interestingly, … [Read more...]

Interview – Paul Maher Jr., author of Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac's On the Road

Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac's On the Road is an accurate, up-to-date, meticulously researched account of how Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, On the Road came to be written.Kerouac scholars Paul Maher Jr. (author of Kerouac: His Life and Work; editor Empty Phantoms: Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac) and Stephanie Nikolopoulos bring to … [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...]

How Kerouac’s haiku changed my life

Kerouac Book of Haikus - collage by EmptyMirrorBooks.com

When I was twenty-two, I was lucky enough to be the only South African on an American college campus, studying Creative Writing and trying to figure out what to do with my life (along with every other college student, it seems). One chilly Fall day, I signed up for a course that unwittingly changed my life: an in-depth seminar on Jack Kerouac.I had read On the Road, of … [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...]

In honor of Jack’s birthday: 4 Kerouac videos

jk-nyc

In honor of Jack Kerouac's birthday (March 12), here are some videos to enjoy.1. Kerouac & friends in New York "Silent footage of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, and others in New York, Summer 1959. The location is in and around the Harmony Bar & Restaurant at E 9th St. and 3rd Ave. Others seen are Mary Frank (wife of film-maker Robert Frank) and children … [Read more...]

Review – Anywhere Road: Retracing Jack Kerouac, by Joerg Haeske

Anywhere Road: Retracing Jack Kerouac by Joerg Haeske

"What's your road, man?—holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It's an anywhere road for anybody anyhow." - Jack Kerouac, On the RoadFor the last several years, on his website www.RetracingJackKerouac.com, Joerg Haeske has documented his travels to places which figured in Jack Kerouac's life and work. Now Joerg has gathered together some of his … [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?

Kerouac 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...]

Jack Kerouac – “Big Sur” Movie Trailer

Big Sur film - Kerouac

The film, Big Sur, based upon Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name, released nationwide on November 1, 2013.Directed by Michael Polish, who also wrote the screenplay, it stars Jean-Marc Barr as Jack Kerouac. Other cast are: Stana Katic as Lenore; Henry Thomas as Phillip Whalen; Josh Lucas as Neal Cassady; Kate Bosworth as Billie; Radha Mitchell as Carolyn Cassady; Anthony … [Read more...]

Earwitness Testimony: Sound and Sense, Word and Void in Jack Kerouac’s Old Angel Midnight

Old Angel Midnight

“the ineluctable modality of the audible” – James Joyce UlyssesSo much of Jack Kerouac’s writing seems impelled by an impatience with all verbal restraints and by an urgent purpose that strains to push and pivot, dodge and drive – like the star running back Kerouac once was – past syntax and grammar and language itself in order to touch a truth beyond language. Nowhere in … [Read more...]

Get “On the Road” movie gear!

otr-newposter

The long-anticipated film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road", directed by Walter Salles and produced by Francis Ford Coppola will soon be released in the United States. Here are some books, CDs and accessories associated with "On the Road."On the Road - with a new movie cover Haven't read the book yet? Want to read it again before you see the movie?A new … [Read more...]

Neal & Carolyn Cassady’s house at 29 Russell St., San Francisco

29 Russell St., 1999, by Joshua Medsker

It’s been about ten years now since I saw Beat legends Neal and Carolyn Cassady’s house. It was such a thrill for me; I can remember it perfectly. My old friends Kirstin and Colin, from Alaska had just moved down to San Francisco the year before in 1998, and had told me about it. “Yeah,” Kirstin told me, “it’s just up the street from our apartment.” Jack Kerouac lived with them … [Read more...]

The Official Kerouac “On the Road” Movie Trailer is Here!

On the Road movie poster

"On the Road," the movie based on Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name, will be released in the United States on December 21, 2012. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope, it's directed by Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) and stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart. Check out the official trailer below!Haven't read On the Road yet, or want … [Read more...]

The Sea is My Brother by Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac - The Sea is My Brother

The Sea is My Brother was Jack Kerouac's first attempt at a novel. Technically it fits the criteria of a novella, the original manuscript weighing in at 158 pages. Published for the first time in its entirety by Penguin Classics (2011) and bound together with other collected juvenilia, it is important to remember that this manuscript is exactly that, juvenilia. Penned by … [Read more...]