Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Blade Runner - Beat Generation connection

Since Blade Runner 2049 is in theaters, I thought readers might be interested in this piece explaining the connection to the Beat Generation:


If you haven't seen the original, put it on your movie bucket list. As for the sequel in theaters, I haven't seen it yet but plan to do so this week.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Denise is this year's book winner!

Denise is the winner of a signed copy of The Beat Handbook for being first to reply to my previous post with this year's secret word (dingledodies). Denise, send me your snail mail address to thebeathandbook@gmail.com and I will send you your copy right away.

The annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac festival is under way as I write this. If you're there, hoist one for me in Jack's honor.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Change of plans re: Lowell

For a variety of reasons -- none of them alarming in nature -- we have just decided to skip Lowell Celebrates Kerouac this year. One of several reasons is that we are simply traveled out, having spent almost all of September in Europe living out of our suitcases.

While we'll miss the Kerouacian camaraderie, we will not miss staying in a hotel, sleeping in an unfamiliar bed, endlessly eating out, spending a bunch of money, sharing one bathroom (we both have our own at home!), figuring out cat-sitting, or, as already stated, living out of our suitcases.

There are two pieces of good news here. First, this means that there may be a room available at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center, the most centrally-located hotel to the events. Second, I am still going to give a signed copy of my book away as planned.

Here's how the latter will work: the first person to reply to this post with this year's secret word will be the winner. You will need to search past posts if you don't already know the secret word. I will ask whoever wins for their snail mail address and then send them a signed copy courtesy of the United States Post Office.

If you read this and are attending LCK this year, feel free to share this information with other attendees who may wonder about our absence.

Maybe we'll see you next year!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The joys and pitfalls of blogging

Blogging has its joys, one of which is to share my love for Jack Kerouac with others and make connections with fellow Kerouacians. It also has its downsides such as negative responses. I don't get a lot of replies, but when I do -- unless they are ad hominem attacks -- I typically publish them (they don't post automatically so that when I am called abusive names it spares you from reading such things -- you wouldn't believe what I've been called).

On my return from Europe I had a couple of replies that were definitely unpleasant for me to read, but they didn't rise to the level of ad hominem attacks so I have posted them.

One was by "Joe Zaloom" here: John Fante.

The other by "Anonymous" here: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Part 2.

I don't know who either person is, and for all I know it's the same person, but in any case I ruffled some feathers (the former may or may not be an actor with Die Hard With a Vengeance and other notable movies to his credit). I didn't mean to offend, and I will look for constructive criticism in the replies.

Yes, I could have read some Fante before blogging about him, but in my defense I did say in my post that it was something I probably needed to do. And yes, my review of Infinite Jest was admittedly a personal reaction and not a scholarly analysis, and on re-reading it I guess it does come off pretty self-centered. Blogging takes some degree of ego, right? That is, a blogger presumes that she or he has something of interest to say.

But . . . and this is important . . . it's my blog and I get to determine what I blog about, not you, Joe, and not you, Anonymous. You have the right to weigh in, of course, as you have done.

And so it goes . . . .

P.S. If anyone wants to reply to Joe or Anonymous, feel free. But leave out the ad hominems or your reply won't get posted.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac this coming week!

The Kerouac faithful will be descending on Lowell, Massachusetts -- our boy's hometown -- this coming week for the annual Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival on October 5-9. The schedule is available here: http://www.lowellcelebrateskerouac.org/festival.

To win your free signed copy of The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions, this year's secret word and the process for employing it were revealed several blog posts ago (August 7 to be precise). Let's not allow another year to go by without a winner. Keep in mind that past winners are not eligible. We've got to spread the wealth. Ahem, yass yass....

We don't know when we are visiting Jack's grave this year. In past year's we have done it on the way into town on Thursday, but Friday morning also has a lull in the schedule since the high school poetry reading is not open to the public. The first open event that day is Talking Jack (not to be missed), so a grave visit before that is eminently possible. Whenever we do go, we'll be recording the annual graveside video reading, this year being from On the Road since it is the 60th anniversary celebration of the publication of the book that launched Kerouac's career.

When you see me, ask to see pictures of The Beat Hotel in Paris, which we visited in early September and blogged about on September 10.

Jack said everybody goes home in October. Make it so.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Report from France Part 2

I may not have Internet on Sunday so here's a post to keep the streak going. These are pictures of and at Shakespeare and Company, a very old bookstore in Paris that catered to the Beats. I didn't get a picture of Aggie the bookstore cat,  but I got to pet her and got my cat fix.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Report from France Part 1

I have limited Blogger capability here in France because I only have my cell phone but here's a little report from Paris to keep my streak going.

On Wednesday in Paris we found The Beat Hotel at 9 Git-le-Coeur (now the Relais du Vieux Paris). Below are some pictures. I'd read that they don't appreciate tourists traipsing inside but the desk clerk was very nice. I told him I was a Beat fan and asked if I could take pictures. He said oui. I asked him how often people like me visit and he said "every day for 50 years."

There are various framed pics of Beat figures in the lobby. I didn't presume to go farther than the lobby and we had a time commitment (meeting our Paris guide, Wan).

More soon....