Empty Phantoms: Collected Interviews with Jack Kerouac gathers together, for the first time in one volume, all known printed, recorded, and filmed interviews—including those celebrated, infamous, or obscure—with the acclaimed American writer and father of the Beats, Jack Kerouac.
In many instances, the interviews are transcribed from original tapes and are either unabridged, like the famous "Paris Review" interview in which the journal was excised for space constraints, or unexpurgated, such as in the infamous Northport Library interview, which had been edited to avoid issues of libel and charges of anti-Semitism. Editor Paul Maher, one of the leading young lions of Kerouac scholarship, has scoured newspapers to glean interviews unseen for decades.
Although many top-notch journalists, from Mike Wallace to William F. Buckley, conducted the interviews, it is Kerouac who dominates the proceedings, with his energy, wit, passion, anger, astute insights, playfulness, literary integrity, and searching spirituality. Best of all, the interviews are replete with Kerouacisms like "walking on water wasn't built in a day, wisdom is heartless," and "pity dogs and forgive men," which have been a cherished aspect of Kerouac's literature.
Beyond his own works, this living portrait of Kerouac isn't available anywhere else.