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Library of America Jack Kerouac Edition

Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac: Road Novels 1957-1960 (LOA #174) by Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac: Visions of Cody, Visions of Gerard, Big Sur (LOA #262) by Jack Kerouac
The Unknown Kerouac (LOA #283) by Jack Kerouac

Library of America Jack Kerouac Edition : Titles in Order

Book 4
In On the Road and other iconic works, Jack Kerouac created a quintessentially American voice and a revolutionary prose style. This remarkable gathering of previously unpublished writings reveals as never before the extraordinary literary journey that led to his phenomenal success—a journey with deep roots in the language and culture of Kerouac’s French Canadian childhood.

Edited and published with unprecedented access to the Kerouac archives, The Unknown Kerouac presents two lost novels, The Night Is My Woman and Old Bull in the Bowery, which Kerouac wrote in French during the especially fruitful years of 1951 and 1952. Discovered among his papers in the mid-nineties, they have been translated into English for the first time by Jean-Christophe Cloutier, who incorporates Kerouac’s own partial translations.

Also included are two journals from the heart of this same crucial period. In Private Philologies, Riddles, and a Ten-Day Writing Log, Kerouac recounts a brief stay in Denver—where he works on an early version of On the Road, reads dime novels, and even rides in a rodeo—and shows him contemplating writers like Chaucer and Joyce and playing with riddles and etymologies. Journal 1951, begun during a stay in a Bronx VA hospital, charts, in ecstatic, moving, and self-revealing pages, the wave of insights and breakthroughs that led Kerouac to the most singular transformation of American prose style since Hemingway.

This landmark volume is rounded out with the memoir Memory Babe, a poignant evocation of childhood play and reverie in a robust immigrant community, in which Kerouac uncannily retrieves and distills the subtlest sense impressions. And finally, in an interview with his longtime friend and fellow Beat John Clellon Holmes and in the late fragment Beat Spotlight Kerouac reflects on his meteoric career and unlooked for celebrity.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 3
Poetry was at the center of Jack Kerouac’s sense of mission as a writer. This landmark edition brings together for the first time all Kerouac’s major poetic works—Mexico City Blues, The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, Book of Blues, Pomes All Sizes, Old Angel Midnight, Book of Haikus—along with a rich assortment of his uncollected poems, six published here for the first time. He wrote poetry in every period of his life, in forms as diverse as the classical Japanese haiku, the Buddhist sutra, the spontaneous prose poetry of Old Angel Midnight, and the poetic “blues” he developed in Mexico City Blues and other serial works, seeing himself as “a jazz poet blowing a long blues in an afternoon jam session on Sunday.” Many poets found Kerouac a liberating influence on their work: Robert Creeley called him “a genius at the register of the speaking voice”; for Allen Ginsberg he was “a poetic influence over the entire planet”; and Bob Dylan said that Mexico City Blues was crucial to his own artistic development.Also available in specially-designed jacket (978-1-59853-194-7)

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 2
An authoritative edition of three Beat novels by the legendary author of On the Road. The third volume in The Library of America’s edition of the writings of Jack Kerouac opens with Visions of Cody, the groundbreaking work originally written in the early 1950s and published posthumously in 1972, in which Kerouac first treats the material later immortalized in On the Road. In it he moves beyond his early literary models to discover his own unique “bop prosody,” mixing closely observed description, free-form scats, and transcribed conversation to create an impassioned and hallucinatory portrait of his friend and idol Neal Cassady, here reimagined as Cody Pomeray. Visions of Gerard (1963) is a deeply moving meditation on Kerouac’s older brother, who died at nine of rheumatic fever, and who for Kerouac became an emblem of saintliness. The intensely focused and harrowing Big Sur (1962) finds fictional alter ego Jack Duluoz returning to California to escape fame and celebrity, a fateful decision that leads to a dangerous affair with Pomeray’s mistress, a nightmarish alcohol-fueled breakdown, and a desperate struggle for sobriety.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
The raucous, exuberant, often wildly funny account of a journey through America and Mexico, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road instantly defined a generation on its publication in 1957: it was, in the words of a New York Times reviewer, “the clearest and most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat.’” Written in the mode of ecstatic improvisation that Allen Ginsberg described as “spontaneous bop prosody,” Kerouac’s novel remains electrifying in its thirst for experience and its defiant rebuke of American conformity.

In his portrayal of the fervent relationship between the writer Sal Paradise and his outrageous, exasperating, and inimitable friend Dean Moriarty, Kerouac created one of the great friendships in American literature; and his rendering of the cities and highways and wildernesses that his characters restlessly explore is a hallucinatory travelogue of a nation he both mourns and celebrates. Now, The Library of America collects On the Road together with four other autobiographical “road books” published during a remarkable four-year period.

The Dharma Bums (1958), at once an exploration of Buddhist spirituality and an account of the Bay Area poetry scene, is notable for its thinly veiled portraits of Kerouac’s acquaintances, including Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Kenneth Rexroth. The Subterraneans (1958) recounts a love affair set amid the bars and bohemian haunts of San Francisco. Tristessa (1960) is a melancholy novella describing a relationship with a prostitute in Mexico City. Lonesome Traveler (1960) collects travel essays that evoke journeys in Mexico and Europe, and concludes with an elegiac lament for the lost world of the American hobo. Also included in Road Novels are selections from Kerouac’s journal, which provide a fascinating perspective on his early impressions of material eventually incorporated into On the Road.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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