Book of Haikus

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Highlighting a lesser-known aspect of one of America's most influential authors, this new collection displays Jack Kerouac's interest in and mastery of haiku. Experimenting with this compact poetic genre throughout his career, Kerouac often included haiku in novels, correspondence, notebooks, journals, sketchbooks, and recordings. In this collection, Kerouac scholar Regina Weinreich supplements an incomplete draft of a haiku manuscript found in Kerouac's archives with a generous selection of Kerouac's other haiku, from both published and unpublished sources. With more than 500 poems, this is a must-have volume for Kerouac enthusiasts everywhere.
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The legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road, published word for word as Kerouac originally composed it

Though Jack Kerouac began thinking about the novel that was to become On the Road as early as 1947, it was not until three weeks in April 1951, in an apartment on West Twentieth Street in Manhattan, that he wrote the first full draft that was satisfactory to him. Typed out as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120 foot scroll, this document is among the most significant, celebrated, and provocative artifacts in contemporary American literary history. It represents the first full expression of Kerouac’s revolutionary aesthetic, the identifiable point at which his thematic vision and narrative voice came together in a sustained burst of creative energy. It was also part of a wider vital experimentation in the American literary, musical, and visual arts in the post-World War II period.

It was not until more than six years later, and several new drafts, that Viking published, in 1957, the novel known to us today. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of On the Road, Viking will publish the 1951 scroll in a standard book format. The differences between the two versions are principally ones of significant detail and altered emphasis. The scroll is slightly longer and has a heightened linguistic virtuosity and a more sexually frenetic tone. It also uses the real names of Kerouac’s friends instead of the fictional names he later invented for them. The transcription of the scroll was done by Howard Cunnell who, along with Joshua Kupetz, George Mouratidis, and Penny Vlagopoulos, provides a critical introduction that explains the fascinating compositional and publication history of On the Road and anchors the text in its historical, political, and social context.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 1, 2013
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781101664889
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / American / General
Poetry / Haiku
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 From the daily cycling trips in Titan Park, Bucharest, appeared this small volume of poems, illustrated with the most beautiful pictures I made during these walks.  At midnight starts my working day. The computer, a coffee, a discreet jazz music, together with other ingredients. At 5:30, I'm getting ready. At 6:00, I take the bicycle and pedal easily to the nearby park, Titan Park. It's still early in the morning, but in the park, there are already running or walking people I have not known before, but now familiar to me. There she is the beautiful girl who runs like a gazelle; and the 50-year-old man who descends the stairs with his back, climbs them, and then goes down; the woman who gives a few laps in a hurried pace, the young man with walking but problems with a will out of the ordinary, who gives up for a moment at the walking stick; those from the outdoor exercise machines, and those who give food to birds; and others, and others ...
 I am greeting the turtle at the entrance, I pedal carefully not to cycling over the wild ducks that cross the alleys in search of food, I scare the gulls that moan on the edge of the lake. I stop for a moment to photograph the appropriate moment for my idea. The swans, curious, approach the shore and look at me. I get on the bike again, and I take a few laps as I try to put the idea in the lyrics. I stop on a bench, I light a cigarette, and I get the phone off. I connect Instagram and publish there the images and lyrics, which then spread on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I'll take a few more laps and I am leaving. Arrived at home, drinking a last coffee and at about 09:00 I fall asleep quietly.
 It's been over another day.
Named one of the 50 best memoirs of the past 50 years by The New York Times

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“Among the great American literary memoirs of the past century . . . a riveting portrait of an era . . . Johnson captures this period with deep clarity and moving insight.” – Dwight Garner, The New York Times

In 1954, Joyce Johnson’s Barnard professor told his class that most women could never have the kinds of experiences that would be worth writing about.  Attitudes like that were not at all unusual at a time when “good” women didn’t leave home or have sex before they married; even those who broke the rules could merely expect to be minor characters in the dramas played by men. But secret rebels, like Joyce and her classmate Elise Cowen, refused to accept things as they were.
 
As a teenager, Johnson stole down to Greenwich Village to sing folksongs in Washington Square. She was 21 and had started her first novel when Allen Ginsberg introduced her to Jack Kerouac; nine months later she was with Kerouac when the publication of On the Road made him famous overnight. Joyce had longed to go on the road with him; instead she got a front seat at a cultural revolution under attack from all sides; made new friends like Hettie and LeRoi Jones, and found herself fighting to keep the shy, charismatic, tormented Kerouac from destroying himself.  It was a woman’s adventure and a fast education in life.  What Johnson and other Beat Generation women would discover were the risks, the heartache and the heady excitement of trying to live as freely as the rebels they loved.
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