Now Neal I want to tell you–your doom is of no concern to me simply because I don’t think you’re doomed at all and in fact I expect your soul to get wilder and wilder as you grow older till at ninety you will be a great white-haired saint even if a “blank” brakeman (Allen’s wds.) Fuck it, in fact you know you will wind up in Mexico with your family if you have any sense… but even if you don’t… It’s not your doom; I been worrying all day that Allen made you sad; made you sad about blind-spots cock cancers and what not…
I believe in your energy, your loves, your greatness, your final and magnificent grandness like Whitman’s and I believe in your LIVING and not your DYING (I’m not a Cannastra, a Ginsberg, a Carr). I believe in everything about you except you dying and if you die I won’t know what to do with myself in this world, in the special compartment which is reserved for you, the other reserved for Joan. I love you as ever and not only that I don’t want you to die. Clear? And I love Carolyn and I love your children and I love women and I love life and celebrate and believe and let’s hear no more and this is the way I’ll be till ninety.
Jack Kerouac, from a letter to Neal Cassady (May 22, 1951)
Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Philip Whalen, Naropa Institute’s first session Boulder, Colorado, June 1974, Photo c. Rachel Homer.
Jack and Me on Flickr.
(Neutral Grounds, New Orleans, September 2008. Photo by emchy.)
There was a painting of Jack there, so I asked Emchy to take a picture of me next to it. It wasn’t until we looked at the photo later that I saw the shadows and the way I tilted my head made me look eerily like Jack.
Your art is as you say more important to you than anything, mine is an emotional egocentricity. I accept this because I would relegate art to a purely expressive and assertive tool—here I am more Rimbaud, I think. And for me its equal purpose is as a tool for discovery. But the assertion—myself—and the discovery—external—are my aims; I am dedicated to myself. It is you who do not recognize the impossibility of dedicating yourself to your fellow-beings, you are dedicated to your art. My art is dedicated to me.
Allen Ginsberg to Jack Kerouac, 1945 (via camilamacaulays)
Coming September 1st: The Beat Interviews by John Tytell.
For pre-orders, reviews, press, interviews, etc, etc, contact david (at) beatdom [dot] com.
Setting Kerouac to Music: An Interview with Kubilay Uner
Kubilay Uner is the composer for the 2013 movie, Big Sur, based on the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name. He has worked with Michael and Mark Polish – the brothers behind the movie – on various projects, as well as performing live scores in concert halls. I spoke to him about setting Kerouac to music for the big screen.
Has Kerouac been much of an influence on your life?
Growing up in Germany I didn’t really start reading much English-language literature until well into my twenties, after I moved to the States. Kerouac was always somebody I knew about, but it wasn’t until shortly before the film that I read his work.
||Is naked lunch a sequel to junkie or just following a character with the same name? (Anonymous)
Hi anon ! Naked lunch is not a sequel. Both books are a non-linear narrative so it’s really hard to describe. His writing style is unique. We’re following William lee, Burroughs’ alter ego, so i think we can say it’s semi-autobiographical. In my opinion, there’s no need to read them in order.
You realize that a man can take a train and never reach his destination, that a man has no destination at the end of the road, but that he merely has a starting point on the road—which is Home. You see it all, this epic of mankind, before your eyes; it is a limpid and awful truth, it has a naked and beautiful reality. You are now a man, little madman. When you left, four months ago, you were but a child—you with your high ideals and mad dreams. Now, I hope that you see everything, that you will from now on read it in the faces of the passengers of the world, the faces that comet across the surfaces of the Earth, forever searching for the destination. I hope, little madman, that you realize that the destination is really not a tape at the end of a straight-away racing course, but that it is a tape on an oval that you must break over and over again as you race madly around. And whether you give up the race after circumventing the swarming oval once, or whether you continue through the marathon alleys of life? Whichever you do, little madman, you shall always return to the place where the road began. For the place where the road began is composted of infantine hallucinations and youthful ambition, and these are deathless elements that remain within you forever.
Jack Kerouac / Where the Road Begins (via ardencies)
“I love Marylou. In the book she’s fun, she’s sexy, she’s vivid, she’s progressive for her time. She jumps off the page and smacks you in the face.” Kristen Stewart
"Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don’t know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever.
Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It’s a dream already ended. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about.”
Jack Kerouac, The Portable Jack Kerouac
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