Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Darwin Awards

According to the gossip pages in San Francisco, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Winona Ryder will soon be in a movie together.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

In Memoriam: Donald Allen

Donald M. Allen, editor of the landmark Beat era anthology The New American Poetry: 1945-1960, passed away Aug. 29. Allen also served as the editor for Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues.

When not editing poetry, Allen was engaged in a variety of other activities, including publishing (works by Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, etc.) and teaching English in China.

"He was very proud of his World War II service," friend Michael Williams told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He served in the Pacific as a translator of Japanese documents. After the surrender of Japan, he went to London and served as the naval attache to the American Embassy. He received a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service."

Somewhere, Allen and Gregory Corso are hitchhiking in heaven.

Kerouac's journals

Jack Kerouac's journals from his crucial 1947-1954 "On The Road" years have been published by Viking Press.

Windblown World, the anthology, was compiled and edited by New Orleans Beat historian and John Kerry biographer Douglas Brinkley.

A Publisher's Weekly review states:

"Much of Kerouac's reputation rests on his first two novels, and these selections from a series of spiral notebooks into which the fledgling author constantly poured story ideas and private thoughts offer an intimate perspective on those novels' development. Anybody who's ever started a novel will grasp Kerouac's obsession with his daily word count and the periodic frustration and self-doubt...

[T]here's plenty of the familiar Kerouac on hand: all-night drunken conversations with other Beat writers, casual sexual encounters and a final notebook entitled "Rain and Rivers," filled with real-life episodes in an early version of the freewheeling style that transformed Kerouac from a promising young novelist to a literary legend."