Melvillian Flat
Aug06

Melvillian Flat

There’s something about this second-floor Red Bank flat that hints of Melville, poor Bartleby scribbling away at his lonely desk, (or Kerouac when he took the job in the Hartford filling station and typed away gloomy hours). Maybe it’s the curve of the rounded windows or the rectangular window facing the street with its late nineteenth- century commercial buildings or the hardwood flooring with its long planks or the kitchen stool I...

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“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i
Jul22

“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i

The title of the William Butler Yeats poem “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” makes me cringe. Is it kind to encourage a friend whose talent may be nonexistent, or is it kinder to speak plainly, in other words, tell the truth? Friend, it’s my unfortunate obligation to say you have no talent in this area and must give this up, the sooner the better, because you‘re wasting everyone’s time and making yourself crazy and are...

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The Burroughs File Filed
Jul06

The Burroughs File Filed

It was my husband’s task to pack the books in the garage. Just take the good ones, I said. As I was  unpacking his selection, I came across a 1929 edition of An Anthology of World Poetry edited by Mark  Van Doren (Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg’s Columbia University English professor) and a 1984 copy of  City Lights Books The Burroughs File. I look forward to what I might find in the other two unopened boxes of books, but this is...

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The Greatest Road Movie Never Made
Jun25

The Greatest Road Movie Never Made

  Brando should have played Dean; Jack’s 1957 letter to Marlon asking him to buy the film rights to On the Road is a cry in the dark night of his tormented soul. Marlon would have been stellar. Think of the young Marlon Brando as Stanley, Johnny, Terry, or even Sky – a guy straight out of the Omaha, Nebraska, heartland – wild, unorthodox, intelligent, rebellious, athletic, and the Zeus of Adonises. Team him with movie-star...

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Storming the Reality Studio with Uncle Bill:  Some Thoughts on William S. Burroughs and the Movies
Jun18

Storming the Reality Studio with Uncle Bill: Some Thoughts on William S. Burroughs and the Movies

From Beatdom #14   By Matthew Levi Stevens Art by Philip Willey Until really quite recently, of the “big names” that one thinks of in association with the Beat Generation, it was always William S. Burroughs that was easiest or most likely to think of in connection with film – for a variety of reasons, some fairly obvious and others not so. It is something of a cliché that of the Big Three, each had a decade of which they were very...

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Bloomsday Thoughts: Kerouac & Joyce
Jun16

Bloomsday Thoughts: Kerouac & Joyce

“In those days I was writing a Joyce-like novel in which I was the Dedalus; and called myself Duluoz. Let’s do that now. Duluoz the Ladysman!” - Jack Kerouac The fiction of Jack Kerouac is heavily inspired by the work of James Joyce. He liked to compare himself and his work to Joyce, and his hero, Neal Cassady, was sometimes compared to Joyce in Kerouac’s letters. Indeed, Kerouac even took inspiration for his...

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Howl (2010) – How to Adapt a Beat Classic
Jun08

Howl (2010) – How to Adapt a Beat Classic

By Michelle Rudolf From Beatdom #14     The 2010 movie, Howl, an adaptation of Allen Ginsberg’s classic Beat poem, by Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein was largely successful because it involved approaches to adapting an artistic work that are uncommon in filmmaking. The directors had studied Ginsberg’s life, the process of writing the poem, and what happened in the aftermath of its publication, and ultimately succeeded in...

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The Holy Ghost Scroll
Jun06

The Holy Ghost Scroll

“Giroux insisted that the manuscript would have to be cut up [cut ups] and edited. Kerouac . . .  refused . . . telling Giroux that the “Holy Ghost” had dictated the novel.” i “There’ll be no editing on this manuscript . . . “This manuscript has been dictated by the Holy Ghost.” ii The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity: The Holy Ghost is a Person distinct  from the Father and the Son. He is...

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