Kerouac & Ginsberg: The Letters

Letter writing is defintely a fading art… I know, I know, email is ‘like’ letter writing, but from my perspective, it doesn’t even come close. Finding the right pen, or pulling out the trusty typewriter; getting a few crisp sheets of paper; sitting down with your thoughts and really connecting with someone, wherever they may be… these are just some of the intense pleasures of writing a letter.

Two men who knew a great deal of these pleasures were Kerouac & Ginsberg and thankfully for us, 200 of their leters have been gathered together in a sweet little tome by Bill Morgan and David Stanford.

As Michael Miller wrote in the New York Observer, “the collection reads like a Dostoyevsky novel: It begins with a murder and ends, essentially, with a suicide (Kerouac’s death from cirrhosis of the liver in 1969). The authors are wild and unguarded, real-life protagonists that never quite made it into the Beat literature: Kerouac, stubborn, paranoid, hot-tempered, but in love with every person he meets; Ginsberg, the horny kid prone to hallucinations and consumed by poetry.”

Definitely a must have for this Lost Shark’s shelves.

And if like me you are kicking back enjoying the Sunday morning sun, you might just like to take in a bit of Kerouac & Ginsberg. So, for all you Allen lovers here’s a link to a short film (around an hour) – Allen’s Last Three Days on Earth as Spirit, a video diary of Ginsberg in the days immediately before and after his death by Jonas Mekas. And thanks to the good people at Ubuweb, on the same page there is also a great interview with Ginsberg from 1995 with Jeremy Isaacs.

And for the Jack lovers, why not kick back and listen to Clark Coolidge and Michael Gizzi read from Old Angel Midnight.

Or like me… why not take it all in.


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