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Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters Paperback – June 28, 2011
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Decades later, Kerouac would wryly recall that his first impression of Ginsberg was of "a lecher who wanted everybody in the world to take a bath in the same huge bathtub which would give him a chance to feel legs under the dirty water." After seeing the shy poet say goodbye to each step in his apartment building as he moved out, however, Kerouac recognized Ginsberg as a kindred spirit. Their creative alliance became the central axis of an ever-expanding circle of writers, artists, musicians, and fellow travelers that Kerouac christened the Beat Generation. Many of the authors lionized by academia during the post-war era have been forgotten (read any Conrad Aiken lately?) but the best novels and poems produced by this group - which eventually encompassed William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Diane DiPrima, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman and others -- still seem fresh, hip, and relevant.
The result is a Beat revival that has been ongoing since the '70s. A feature film based on Ginsberg's breakthrough poem "Howl" is coming out this September, featuring the hot actor of the moment, James Franco, in a nearly uncanny performance as the young Ginsberg in San Francisco. Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Son Volt's Jay Farrar recently teamed up for a Kerouac tribute called "One Fast Move or I'm Gone.Read more ›
Hooooo weeeee now, that's some cool advice Jack is giving Allen. Because Kerouac and Ginsberg are my two favorite authors, I've actually replaced (on my bookshelf) the Charter books with this collection.
"What is the mystery of the world? Nobody knows they're angels."
Followed a few days later by:
"Jesus, Allen, life ain't worth a candle, we all know it, and almost everything is wrong, but there's nothing we can do about it, and living is heaven."
"If we were not haunted by the mystery of the world, we wouldn't realize nothing."
The letters are full of "I love you, Allen," "I love you, Jack," especially towards the end, when Jack was caught in the downward spiral of alcoholism that eventually led to his death at age 47.
I felt every word.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you're a JK fan. It sheds a lot of light on AG's crush on JK and how JK seemed to thrive on that.Published on April 11, 2014 by MLHarris
I bought this for a christmas present and the person it was bought for said that it is great. Great for a kerouac loverPublished on February 12, 2013 by Samantha Pechauer
For anyone interested in the Beats, this correspondance between the two greatest geniuses, form the time they were young an unknown is unfiltered and thus uniquely revelatory and... Read morePublished on December 5, 2012 by Daniel Goldberg
I believe the new book I ordered was replaced with a 'gently used' version. The book had a bent cover and had a stain on the top of the pages. I don't call that NEW. Read morePublished on October 24, 2010 by Kyle Wallace
Kerouac fans beware! This book is advertised as "Two thirds which have never been published before" and they must be Ginsbergs because out of the entire book, from 1957 on,... Read morePublished on August 3, 2010 by greenhornet