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Do you subscribe to Mass Moments? Its a very interesting website. Every day Mass Moments sends an email detailing a historical event that took place in Massachusetts on that day in history. I love it.
I found today’s Mass Moment especially interesting…“March 23, 1948: Kerouac Writes First Novel”.
This Mass Moment brought an old memory back to me.
In college I earned my Master Degree in American Literature. Strangely, I actually read the other Beat Generation Poets (Ginsburg, Corso, Ferlinghetti) more than Kerouac. But there is no question amongst this group “Jack” was the man. In the early 1970’s while in college I saw Allen Ginsburg and Gregory Corso on stage with several other poets…I can’t remember their names but one might have been Ferlinghetti. Ginsburg, who had recently broken his leg, sat with his casted leg stretched out playing an accordion and monotonously chanting Buddhist hymns . Corso sat beside Ginsburg taking large, frequent swigs from a bottle of bourbon. He was plastered by the end of the night. The “colorful” language they used on stage amazed me. I wasn’t offended, but I had never heard “celebrities” talk like that before. And talk they did…they talked about poetry and they talked about life. At the time I was twenty years old and this group was the wildest thing I had seen. Kerouac was dead at the time, (he died in 1969) but he was the center of a great deal of the conversation. At one time Corso looked at Ginsburg and said “You know Allan, Jack killed himself”, a reference to Kerouac’s drinking. This certainly was an ironic statement coming from a man guzzling bourbon straight from a bottle.
By the way the Kerouac novel Mass Moments is referring to is The Town and the City…You can sign up for Mass Moments here…
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