Tag Archives: Joyce Johnson

Kerouac’s Lonely Victory

Joyce Johnson’s Minor Characters is one of those must read books if you are at all interested in Kerouac and the Beats. It is a work that sparkles with intelligence and is written in a clear and muscular prose. So you can imagine I was bubbling with excitement when I read recently that Johnson is due to release a second book about her life with Kerouac titled, The Voice is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac.

Described as a, “revelatory portrayal of Kerouac not only in the midst of his tumultuous existence in postwar Manhattan and his fateful encounters with Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady and John Clellon Holmes, but in the periods of solitude, frustrating struggle and visionary inspiration that produced his work,” The Voice is All looks primarily at the first 30 years of Kerouac’s life and is said to shine new light on his legendary ‘spontaneous prose’ and the composition of On the Road.

It’s available now through Amazon and other outlets, but why not go down and knock on your local’s door and ask them to ship it in. They will love you for it!

This book will no doubt continue the resurgence of interest in Kerouac and with the recent cinema release of On the Road and the forthcoming the film adaptations of Big Sur and The Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks (titled ‘Kill Your Darlings‘ and featuring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg), his words are bound to make their mark on generations to come.


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One Fast Move Or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur

There are many new films being made charting the life of The Beats at present (Ferlinghetti & Ginsberg’s Karma are two I have blogged about before). This latest film, One Fast Move Or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur is one that I am eagerly anticipating.

Ferlinghetti & Carolyn Cassady at Bixby Canyon

One Fast Move takes us back to Ferlinghetti’s cabin in Bixby Canyon, Big Sur as well as many of Kerouac’s San Franciscan and New York City haunts. Written in the aftermath of On the Road, Big Sur is a haunting epic, charting Kerouac’s own slide into tortured self-doubt, depression and alcoloholism. Big Sur is compelling in it’s ravaged beauty.

One Fast Move is told in voice over by actor and Kerouac interpreter,kerouac John Ventimiglia (The Sopranos) as well as through the refelections and musings of Beat originals, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Joyce Johnson & Carolyn Cassady as well as many of the writers, artists and musicians who have been transformed by Kerouac’s lyrical gift: Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Robert Hunter & Aram Saroyan.

And to top it all off, the soundtrack has been composed byJay Farrar (Son Volt) and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), with all of the lyrics taken directly from the pages of the orignial novel.

You can watch a trailer and listen to sample of the soundtrack on the website. So for all you Kerouac devotees and Beat followers, this film is bound to put a smile on your face.

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Filed under poetry & publishing