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More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sat down in New York City to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The two authors were then at the dawn of their careers, having yet to write anything of note. Alternating chapters and narrators, Burroughs and Kerouac pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, called And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was submitted to publishers but rejected and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. This legendary collaboration between two of the twentieth centuries most influential writers is set to be published for the first time in the fall of 2008. A remarkable, fascinating piece of American literary history, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is also an engrossing, atmospheric novel that brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.
Before Jack Kerouac expressed the spirit of a generation in his 1957 classic, On the Road, he spent years figuring out how he wanted to live and, above all, learning how to write. Atop an Underwood brings together more than sixty previously unpublished works that Kerouac wrote before he was twenty-two, ranging from stories and poems to plays and parts of novels, including an excerpt from his 1943 merchant marine novel, The Sea Is My Brother. These writings reveal what Kerouac was thinking, doing, and dreaming during his formative years, and reflect his primary literary influences. Readers will also find in these works the source of Kerouac's spontaneous prose style. Uncovering a fascinating missing link in Kerouac's development as a writer, Atop an Underwood is essential reading for Kerouac fans, scholars, and critics. .
Before Jack Kerouac expressed the spirit of a generation in his 1957 classic, "On the Road", he spent years figuring out how he wanted to live and, above all, learning how to write. "Atop an Underwood" brings together more than sixty previously unpublished works that Kerouac wrote before he was twenty-two, ranging from stories and poems to plays and parts of novels, including an excerpt from his 1943 merchant marine novel, "The Sea Is My Brother". These writings reveal what Kerouac was thinking, doing, and dreaming during his formative years, and reflect his primary literary influences. Readers will also find in these works the source of Kerouac's spontaneous prose style. Uncovering a fascinating missing link in Kerouac's development as a writer, "Atop an Underwood" is essential reading for Kerouac fans, scholars, and critics.
Coming down from his carefree youth and unwanted fame, Jack Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues: a burgeoning problem with alcoholism, addiction, fear, and insecurity. He dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience. Big Sur was written some time after Jack Kerouac's best-known works, following a visit to northern California and the first feelings of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several weeks in a cabin in Big Sur, California, and with friends in San Francisco. Upon returning home, he wrote this account in a two-week period.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Anthony Edwards, and Radha Mitchell "Each book by Jack Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond. With prose set in the middle of his mind, he reveals consciousness itself in all its syntatic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion. Such rich natural writing is nonpareil in later half XX century, a synthesis of Proust, Céline, Thomas Wolfe, Hemingway, Genet, Thelonius Monk, Basho, Charlie Parker, and Kerouac's own athletic sacred insight. "Big Sur's humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac, a suerior novelist who had strength to complete his poetic narrative, a task few scribes so afflicted have accomplished-others crack up. Here we meet San Francisco's poets & recognize hero Dean Moriarty ten years after On the Road. Jack Kerouac was a 'writer,' as his great peer W. S. Burroughs says, and here at the peak of his suffering humorous genius he wrote through his misery to end with 'Sea,' a brilliant poem appended, on the hallucinatory Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur. " -Allen Ginsberg .
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Bosworth, Josh Lucas, Anthony Edwards, and Radha Mitchell"Each book by Jack Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond. With prose set in the middle of his mind, he reveals consciousness itself in all its syntatic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion. Such rich natural writing is nonpareil in later half XX century, a synthesis of Proust, Céline, Thomas Wolfe, Hemingway, Genet, Thelonius Monk, Basho, Charlie Parker, and Kerouac's own athletic sacred insight."Big Sur's humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac, a suerior novelist who had strength to complete his poetic narrative, a task few scribes so afflicted have accomplished--others crack up. Here we meet San Francisco's poets & recognize hero Dean Moriarty ten years after On the Road. Jack Kerouac was a 'writer,' as his great peer W.S. Burroughs says, and here at the peak of his suffering humorous genius he wrote through his misery to end with 'Sea,' a brilliant poem appended, on the hallucinatory Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur." --Allen Ginsberg
Best known for his "Legend of Duluoz" novels, including On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac is also an important poet. In these eight extended poems, Kerouac writes from the heart of experience in the music of language, employing the same instrumental blues form that he used to fullest effect in Mexico City Blues, his largely unheralded classic of postmodern literature. Edited by Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and consciousness, rich with imagery, propelled by rythm, and based in a reverent attentiveness to the moment. "In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by the small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, and so sometimes the word-meaning can carry from one chorus into another, or not, just like the phrase-meaning can carry harmonically from one chorus to the other, or not, in jazz, so that, in these blues as in jazz, the form is determined by time, and by the musicians spontaneous phrasing & harmonizing with the beat of time as it waves & waves on by in measured choruses. " -Jack Kerouac .
Renowned for his groundbreaking Beat Generation novel On the Road, Jack Kerouac was also a master of the haiku, the three-line, seventeen-syllable Japanese poetic form. Following in the tradition of Basho, Buson, Shiki, Issa, and other poets, Kerouac experimented with this centuries-old genre, taking it beyond strict syllable counts into what he believed was the form's essence. He incorporated his 'American' haiku in novels and in his correspondence, notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, and recordings. In this edition, Kerouac scholar Regina Weinreich has supplemented a core haiku manuscript from Kerouac's archives with a generous selection of the rest of his haikus, from both published and unpublished sources. The result is a compact collection of more than five hundred poems that reveal a lesser known but important side of Jack Kerouac's literary legacy.
In 1952 and 1953 as he wandered around America, Jack Kerouac jotted down spontaneous prose poems, or "sketches" as he called them, on small notebooks that he kept in his shirt pockets. The poems recount his travels--New York, North Carolina, Lowell (Massachusetts, Kerouac's birthplace), San Francisco, Denver, Kansas, Mexico--observations, and meditations on art and life. The poems are often strung together so that over the course of several of them, a little story--or travelogue--appears, complete in itself. Published for the first time, Book of Sketches offers a luminous, intimate, and transcendental glimpse of one of the most original voices of the twentieth century at a key time in his literary and spiritual development.
A young man searches for meaning, creates art, and grapples with fame as he traverses the stomping grounds of the Beat Generation--from Mexico City to Manhattan--in Jack Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel This urgently paced yet deeply introspective novel closely tracks On the Road author Jack Kerouac's own life. Jack Duluoz journeys from the Cascade Mountains to San Francisco, Mexico City, New York, and Tangier. While working as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak in the Cascades, Duluoz contemplates his inner void and the distressing isolation brought on by his youthful sense of adventure. In Tangier he suffers a similar feeling of desperation during an opium overdose, and in Mexico City he meets up with a morphine-addicted philosopher and seeks an antidote to his solitude in a whorehouse. As in Kerouac's other novels, Desolation Angels features a lively cast of pseudonymous versions of his fellow Beat poets, including William S. Burroughs (as Bull Hubbard), Neal Cassady (as Cody Pomeray), and Allen Ginsberg (as Irwin Garden). Duluoz draws readers into the trials and tribulations of these literary iconoclasts--from drug-fueled writing frenzies and alcoholic self-realizations to frenetic international road trips and tumultuous love affairs. Achieving literary success comes with its own consequences though, as Duluoz and his friends must face the scrutiny that comes with rising to the national stage.
With the publication of On the Road in 1957, Jack Kerouac became at once the spokesman and hero of the Beat Generation. Along with such visionaries as William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac changed the face of American literature, igniting a counterculture revolution that even now, decades later, burns brighter than ever in Desolation Angels.
One of the best and most popular of Kerouac's autobiographical novels, The Dharma Bums is based on experiences the writer had during the mid-1950s while living in California, after he'd become interested in Buddhism's spiritual mode of understanding. One of the book's main characters, Japhy Ryder, is based on the real poet Gary Snyder, who was a close friend and whose interest in Buddhism influenced Kerouac.
Two ebullient young men are engaged in a passionate search for dharma, or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen way, which takes them climbing into the high Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude.
A witty, moving philosophical novel, Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums is a journey of self-discovery through the lens of Zen Buddhist thought. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ann Douglas. Following the explosive energy of On the Road, the book that put the Beat Genration on the literary map - and Jack Kerouac on the bestseller list - comes The Dharma Bums, in which Kerouac charts the spiritual quest of a group of friends in search of Dharma, or Truth. Ray Smith and his friend Japhy, along with Morley the yodeller, head off into the high Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude and experience the Zen way of life. But in wildly Bohemian San Francisco, with its poetry jam sessions, marathon drinking bouts and experiments in 'yabyum', they find the ascetic route distinctly hard to follow. Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven. If you enjoyed The Dharma Bums, you might like Kerouac's On the Road, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A vivid evocation of part of our time'New York Post 'A descriptive excitement unmatched since the days of Thomas Wolfe'The New York Times Book Review
In this haunting novel of intensely felt adolescence, Jack Kerouac tells the story of Jack Duluoz, a French-Canadian boy growing up, as Kerouac himself did, in the dingy factory town of Lowell, Massachusetts. Dr. Sax, with his flowing cape, slouch hat, and insinuating leer, is chief among the many ghosts and demons that populate Jack's fantasy world. Deftly mingling memory and dream, Kerouac captures the accents and texture of his boyhood in Lowell as he relates Jack's adventures with this cryptic, apocalyptic hipster phantom. "Kerouac dreams of America in the authentic rolling rhythms of a Whitman or a Thomas Wolfe, drunk with eagerness for life."
In these uncollected writings Jack Kerouac portrays himself in his life. He hitches a ride to San Francisco with a blond, goes on the road with photographer Robert Frank, rides bus through the Northwest and Montana, records the blues of an old Negro hobo, talks about the Beats and how it all began, gives his "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose" and defends his novel "The Subterraneans", compares Shakespeare and James Joyce, describes the cafeterias and subways of Manhattan, goes to a ballgame and a prize fight, and reflects on Christmas in New England, on Murnau's Nosferatu, on jazz & bop, and tells us what he's thinking about.
Beat Generation great Jack Kerouac traverses the vast landscape of American counterculture in this raucous and insightful collection In these collected articles, essays, and wild autobiographical tales, Jack Kerouac, author of On the Road, leads readers down the highways and through the myriad subcultures of mid-twentieth-century America, guiding them along with his ingenious observations and brilliant command of language. He cruises to San Francisco high on Benzedrine with a barefoot blond model in a white bathing suit; traipses from New York to Florida with photographer Robert Frank and a $300 German camera; takes a bus ride along the edge of a precipice in Montana; and revels in the swampy blues of an old Southern bum at a Des Moines diner. On a journey of the mind, Kerouac courses through the philosophy, origins, and dreams of the Beats, those "crazy illuminated hipsters" of post-war America; describes his theory of experimental prose with the "Essentials of Spontaneous Writing"; and gives a tour of the San Francisco Renaissance, pointing out the new American poets who are "childlike graybeard Homers singing on the street." This sweeping portrait of the art, sounds, and people of a nation in transition could only be told with Kerouac's inimitable wisdom and charm.
Heaven and a choice of poems sent to editor Donald Allen for anthology and magazine publication. With a selection of Jack's letters on his poetry and a biographical note.
In his first frankly autobiographical work, Jack Kerouac tells the exhilarating story of the years when he was writing the books that captivated and infuriated the public, restless years of wandering during which he worked as a railway brakeman in California, a steward on a tramp steamer, and a fire lookout on the crest of Desolation Peak in the Cascade Mountains. Resembling his novels in its exuberant style and "jazzy impressionistic prose" (The New Yorker), Lonesome Traveler gives us "Kerouac's nerve ends vs. the universe, with flashes of poetry, truth, and daffiness."
One of the dozen books written by Jack Kerouac in the early and mid-1950s, "Maggie Cassidy" was not published until 1959, after the appearance of "On the Road" had made its author famous overnight. Long out of print, this touching novel of adolescent love in a New England mill town, with its straight-forward narrative structure, is one of Kerouac's most accessible works.
From the bard of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy is an autobiographical novel of young love, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Though publishers stopped Maggie Cassidy's Jack Duluoz and On the Road's Sal Paradise from sharing the same name, Kerouac meant the books to be two parts of the same life. While On the Road made Paradise (and Kerouac) a hero for generations to come of the disaffected and restless, Maggie Cassidy is an affectionate portrait of the teenager that made the man - of friendship and first love growing up in a New England mill town. Duluoz is a high school athletics and football star who meets Maggie Cassidy and begins a devoted, inconstant, tender adolescent love affair. It is one of the most sustained, poetic pieces of Kerouac's 'spontaneous prose'. Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven. If you enjoyed Maggie Cassidy, you might like Kerouac's The Subterraneans and Pic, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A very unique cat - a French Canadian Hinayana Buddhist Beat Catholic savant' Allen Ginsberg
"Mexico City Blues" is Kerouac's only collection of poetry. He roams across continents and cultures in a search for meaning and expression.
In "Old Angel Midnight" Kerouac spills his thoughts onto paper to see what comes out.
A sensory narrative poem capturing the rhythms of the universe and secrets of the subconscious with stunning linguistic dexterity from the author of On the Road A spontaneous writing project in the form of an extended prose poem, this sonorous and spiritually playful book is one of Jack Kerouac's most boldly experimental works. Collected from five notebooks dating from 1956 to 1959--a time in which Kerouac was immersed in Buddhist theory--Old Angel Midnight is comprised of sixty-seven short sections unified by an unwavering dedication to sounds, the subconscious, and verbal ingenuity.Friday Afternoon in the Universe, in all directions in & out you got your men women dogs children horses pones tics perts parts pans pools palls pails parturiences and petty Thieveries that turn into heavenly Buddha. Thus begins Kerouac's Joycean language dance. From birdsong to dharmic verse, street jargon to French slang, the resonances of the universe come blaring in though the windows, unfurling their meaning as the mind lets go and listens.
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