The Haunted Life: and Other Writings PDF Ø Haunted

Oh Jack how I miss thee.First of all, the story behind how this manuscript disappeared is fascinating It seems like it was left in a dormitory closet, probably Allen Ginsberg s old room but I prefer theromantic story of how it was left and lost in a downtown taxi by Kerouac, doing laps of the city in the back seat of a cab This is one of the earliest books Kerouac wrote In the past 20 years, there have been a string of new publications by JK, including Some of the Dharma, Orpheus Em Oh Jack how I miss thee.First of all, the story behind how this manuscript disappeared is fascinating It seems like it was left in a dormitory closet, probably Allen Ginsberg s old room but I prefer theromantic story of how it was left and lost in a downtown taxi by Kerouac, doing laps of the city in the back seat of a cab This is one of the earliest books Kerouac wrote In the past 20 years, there have been a string of new publications by JK, including Some of the Dharma, Orpheus Emerged, the play script of Doctor Sax and The Sea is My Brother, along with the letters collections between Kerouac and Ginsberg and Kerouac and Ed White which have recently seen the light of day Well, this is another one to add to the Kerouac shelf The Haunted Life read like an early version of The Town and The City and for all means and purposes, that s what it is It follows the life of Peter Martin, which must be based on Kerouac himself, who is going through the young stirrings of any typical college youth He has a football scholarship, is interested in the great books and writers, meets friends and stays up to dawn and basically has a good time while at the same time feeling restless about the future, the impending war andimportantly what to do with his life.The manuscript itself is only about 70 pages long so the rest of this book is full of filler material, and I know that that word FILLER generally has negative overtones However, the filler material in this book is great First, the reader is treated to a number of essays written by the young, sometimes brooding, Kerouac who is desperately in search for a method to implement his vision As he said, he has a vision It s the method he is looking for Remember that this was all written before he discovered his spontaneous bop prosody style which would not come until he read Neal Cassady s famous Joan Anderson letter, which has been just recently found only last year in full, after being lost for many many years My favourite part of the book was the letters from his father, Leo, and his sketch of his father working for his small printing company The Lowell Spotlight It is well known that Kerouac was working on a book about his father when he died which was going to be called Spotlight These sketches and diary entries from a heart broken Kerouac witnessing the slow death of his father from stomach cancer show what Kerouac could have and probably would have written if he had lived a little longer Here s hoping that another manuscript, such as the Spotlight manuscript, will someday magically appear out of the blue, like this one did, dropping into our laps like delicious manna plucked straight out of heaven You might be up there, safe in heaven dead Jack, but we are down here missing you a helluva lot When it comes to new releases from the Kerouac estate, I m sorry to say I believe we ve reached the Bukowski Point Right now, as I glance at my bookshelves, I count over 50 books either by or about Kerouac and I have a hard time believing anything new or interesting has yet to come to light While Kerouac was a prolific writer, how muchcan be mined from this vein Well, as it turns out there still somegood stuff out there The Haunted Life and Other Writings is a manuscript that When it comes to new releases from the Kerouac estate, I m sorry to say I believe we ve reached the Bukowski Point Right now, as I glance at my bookshelves, I count over 50 books either by or about Kerouac and I have a hard time believing anything new or interesting has yet to come to light While Kerouac was a prolific writer, how muchcan be mined from this vein Well, as it turns out there still somegood stuff out there The Haunted Life and Other Writings is a manuscript that Kerouac famously claimed to have left in a NY cab around 1944 As it turns out, the manuscript was actually left in a closet in a dorm room at Columbia University At some point it was discovered and remained in a private collection until it was sold in 2002 at Sotheby s for 95K The lost manuscript was Kerouac s most complete attempt at the time at writing what was to become The Town and the City, his first novel But what I foundinteresting than The Haunted Life bit was the Other Writings bit, which include a handful of letters written to Jack by his father, Leo In Kerouac s books, Leo is always portrayed as who he was in real life a hardworking, blue collar guy full passion and bombast But these letters show that Jack got at least some of his literary flair from his old man, who, as it turns out, was quite the letter writer himself And that new tidbit of information alone makes The Haunted Life and Other Writings a worthwhile read for any Kerouac devotee The Bukowski Point when a popular writer s work has been mined so ruthlessly that literally ANYTHING good or bad with his her name on it will be published Why Dolla dolla bill, ya ll An interesting book Mostly centered around The Haunted Life and Peter Martin s coming of age in the town of Galloway The book also includes letters from his father Leo to him and other excerpts The themes in the book would later be reflected in Kerouac s books This lost manuscript is well worth a read to see how the authors work evolved over time. An odd collection of writings And a really terrible choice to make an audio book The main snippet of a story isfascinating as an artifact than as a section of an unfinished book It feels very much like a 2nd draft of a developing author The essay at the beginning is insufferable and boring I have no idea why essays that speak about the book are in the introduction, they belong as epilogues And the rest is just random Some notes, some discussions of The Town and The City And even An odd collection of writings And a really terrible choice to make an audio book The main snippet of a story isfascinating as an artifact than as a section of an unfinished book It feels very much like a 2nd draft of a developing author The essay at the beginning is insufferable and boring I have no idea why essays that speak about the book are in the introduction, they belong as epilogues And the rest is just random Some notes, some discussions of The Town and The City And even some letters from Jack Kerouac s father Leo, some of the better stuff in the book This one is only for Kerouac completists For everyone else start with Dharma Bums and On the Road and go.from there Those are the only two Jack Kerouac books I really love This was a slog Much better to skim as a physical book then listen to as an audio book was a troubled and momentous year for Jack Kerouac In March, his close friend and literary confidant, Sebastian Sampas, lost his life on the Anzio beachhead while serving as a US Army medic That spring still reeling with grief over Sebastian Kerouac solidified his friendships with Lucien Carr, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, offsetting the loss of Sampas by immersing himself in New York s blossoming mid century bohemia That August, however, Carr stabbed his longtime acquaintance and mentor David Kammerer to death in Riverside Park, claiming afterwards that he had been defending his manhood against Kammerer s persistent and unwanted advances Kerouac was originally charged in Kammerer s killing as an accessory after the fact as a result of his aiding Carr in disposing of the murder weapon and Kammerer s eyeglasses Consequently, Kerouac was jailed in Augustand married his first wife, Edie Parker, on the twenty second of that month in order to secure the money he needed for his bail bond Eventually the authorities accepted Carr s account of the killing, trying him instead for manslaughter and thus nullifying the charges against Kerouac At some point later in the year under circumstances that remain rather mysterious the aspiring writer lost a novella length manuscript titled The Haunted Life, a coming of age story set in Kerouac s hometown of Lowell, MassachusettsKerouac set his fictional treatment of Peter Martin against the backdrop of the everyday the comings and goings of the shopping district, the banter and braggadocio that occurs within the smoky atmospherics of the corner bar, the drowsy sound of a baseball game over the radio Peter is heading into his sopho year at Boston College, and while home for the summer in Galloway he struggles with the pressing issues of his day the economic crisis of the previous decade and what appears to be the impending entrance of the United States into the Second World War The other principal characters, Garabed Tourian and Dick Sheffield, are based respectively on Sebastian Sampas and fellow Lowellian Billy Chandler, both of whom had already died in combat by the time of Kerouac s drafting of The Haunted Life providing some of the impetus for its title Garabed is a leftist idealist and poet, with a pronounced tinge of the Byronic Dick is a romantic adventurer whose wanderlust has him poised to leave Galloway for the wider world with or without Peter The Haunted Life also contains a compelling and controversial portrayal of Jack s father, Leo Kerouac, recast as Joe Martin Opposite of Garabed s progressive, New Deal persepctive, Joe is a right wing and bigoted populist, and an ardent admirer of radio personality Father Charles Coughlin The conflicts of the novella are primarily intellectual, then, as Peter finds himself suspended between the differing views of history, politics, and the world embodied by the other three characters, and struggles to define what he believes to be intellectually true and worthy of his life and talents The Haunted Life, skillfully edited by University of Massachusetts at Lowell Assistant Professor of English Todd F Tietchen, is rounded out by sketches, notes, and reflections Kerouac kept during the novella s composition, as well as a revealing selection of correspondence with his father, Leo Kerouac Derivative is a criticism thrown about far too often and quite often I find myself at disagreing with its usage, this novella is a case in point People quite frequently ignore pre on the road Kerouac as a pale imitation of Thomas Wolfe and the other authors Kerouac greatly admired, but to do so does the work no justice The Haunted Life is a work so truthful it is bitter sweet When reading the novella you immediately identify each character as someone you know in your own life and their acti Derivative is a criticism thrown about far too often and quite often I find myself at disagreing with its usage, this novella is a case in point People quite frequently ignore pre on the road Kerouac as a pale imitation of Thomas Wolfe and the other authors Kerouac greatly admired, but to do so does the work no justice The Haunted Life is a work so truthful it is bitter sweet When reading the novella you immediately identify each character as someone you know in your own life and their actions and thoughts are so genuine at times it is shocking The struggle of Peter Martin is the constant struggle of youth old enough to see the world is broken, not wise enough to fix it is anybody Youth set about trying to piece their own image of the world back together, often times becoming confused and lost in the process Peter stands before the precipice of adulthood and questions who he is The ending, although unfinished, is actually rather fitting and allows it to become a great short story we do not find out what peter makes of the world and who he choses to be and that puts the reader directly in Peter shoes.great prose, showing that Kerouac would be destined to make an literary impact regardless of the route he took It also gives insight into the development of the Kerouac that would define a generation Still I wish it was one in a group of short stories Any new Kerouac is cause for celebration Reading this unfinished novella from 1944, one meets again the young Jack, trying to determine the kind of writer he will be In a diary entry from 09 03 45, indicating that someone had asked him what he was looking for in his writing, he records his reply as being a new methodthe vision I do have, it s the method I wantthe vision cannot be expressed without the method There are some beautiful, lyrical passages in this book, foreshadowings of Any new Kerouac is cause for celebration Reading this unfinished novella from 1944, one meets again the young Jack, trying to determine the kind of writer he will be In a diary entry from 09 03 45, indicating that someone had asked him what he was looking for in his writing, he records his reply as being a new methodthe vision I do have, it s the method I wantthe vision cannot be expressed without the method There are some beautiful, lyrical passages in this book, foreshadowings of what would come later, once the method had been discovered, when Jack hit upon a new way to go and the visions would be exressed A Haunted Life is a valuable addition to the Kerouac canon, giving us a glimpse of the young of course Jack was never destined to be old , eager, searching Kerouac, a hint of the developing power, beauty, and insight that would emerge in his mature work Young Jack, I enjoyed spending time with you again, down the long years since your youth and the forty years since I first encountered your work in my own youth Got this at the library, but I d like to own it and read it again sometime, mostly for his sketches and reflections which give further insight and explanations of his ideas for The Town and the City of which The Haunted Life is pretty much a lost early unfinished rendition and ideas for his future projects and also for the several letters from his father, Leo, which are great to read They show similar interests and themes as Jack s, and reveal what had to be, earlier, a fairly formative Got this at the library, but I d like to own it and read it again sometime, mostly for his sketches and reflections which give further insight and explanations of his ideas for The Town and the City of which The Haunted Life is pretty much a lost early unfinished rendition and ideas for his future projects and also for the several letters from his father, Leo, which are great to read They show similar interests and themes as Jack s, and reveal what had to be, earlier, a fairly formative influence upon the child There is even Leo s sketch of Jack s older brother, Gerard, Leo s favorite, who died at age 9.This book is definitely well done, by the editor, and a valuable contribution I feel I got to know Kerouac even better, and I got to read his creative thoughtful ideas when he was still pretty much starting out, even though it almost seems he d already spent the now proverbial 10,000 hours reading everything, to forge and spur his own creativity and ambitions I definitely feel a kinship with Kerouac And there are so manybooks of his to read I have mixed feelings The prose is fantastic and I loved the main character but I wish Kerouac wasn t so dismissive of the female characters in the novel I realize it was the early 1940s so what can you expect, but it still bothered me In some of the non fiction writings at the end of the book he expressed some philosophies that I am opposed to, including some borderline racist sympathizing It s almost like I wish I hadn t read it Now I plan to go back and read some of my Kerouac favorites I have mixed feelings The prose is fantastic and I loved the main character but I wish Kerouac wasn t so dismissive of the female characters in the novel I realize it was the early 1940s so what can you expect, but it still bothered me In some of the non fiction writings at the end of the book he expressed some philosophies that I am opposed to, including some borderline racist sympathizing It s almost like I wish I hadn t read it Now I plan to go back and read some of my Kerouac favorites to see if those themes are present there as well, and decide if I need to retire them as favorites Mostly notes and unfinished ideas A great way to peer into the early thoughts, styles and writings of Kerouac His relationship with his father is the focal point, even though it isn t central in the Martin Family story presented. The Haunted Life: and Other Writings


About the Author: Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was born Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts Jack Kerouac s writing career began in the 1940s, but didn t meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, from an abdominal hemorrhage, at age 47.


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