Not the Jack Kerouac Estate Battle Again ...

Beat Generation News


Somewhere out there, Jack Kerouac biographer Gerald Nicosia is yelling "I told you so".

A news announcement just came out of nowhere: a judge in Pinellas County, Florida has ruled that the much-debated will that bequeathed Jack Kerouac's entire estate to his wife Stella Sampas after the great novelist's death in 1969 was a fake. The will in question is not Kerouac's will but that of his mother, who died in 1973. While this ruling is unlikely to be the last word -- I'm sure the Sampas family will appeal -- it is a very surprising new turn in a battle that raged for years, broke many friendships, and outlived its main would-be beneficiary, Jack's daughter Jan Kerouac, who died in 1996. (Paul Blake, Kerouac's nephew in Florida, might be the beneficiary of this new ruling.)

There's a lot of baggage here, and I experienced much of it first-hand as a member of the online BEAT-L community in the mid-1990s. Jan Kerouac's cause against the Sampas family of Lowell, Massachusetts became an all-consuming obsession for Gerald Nicosia, author of the most acclaimed Kerouac biography, Memory Babe. Nicosia's strident tirades against the Sampas family eventually caused the entire BEAT-L community to disband, as documented in a 1999 Salon article by Austin Bunn that quotes me and a few other participants who became so sick of the increasingly ugly controversy that for a while we couldn't even enjoy reading Kerouac anymore (the Salon article is broken on the Salon website, but is archived here).

The furor eventually died down, and I gradually came to assume that the Sampas's control of the Kerouac estate was a fait accompli. As I said often during the height of the unpleasantness, I didn't really care very much who owned the Keroauc estate, but I wanted everybody to shut up because it was disturbing my reading. I have a feeling it may get to that point again real soon.
67 Responses to "Not the Jack Kerouac Estate Battle Again ..."

"Money is the root of all evil"
For I will
Write
In my will
"I regret that I was not able
To love money more."

Kerouac, 238th Chorus from MEXICO CITY BLUES

by Levi Asher on

Right on, Andrew and Charley (good to hear from you both again too)!

Rereading what I wrote here yesterday, maybe I'm being too dismissive of what must be a very significant legal victory (even if I doubt this victory will turn out to be the last word).

If Jan Kerouac were alive today, this ruling would have a lot more meaning.

by Jeremiah Newton on

Thanks for following this and attempting to help Jan. What happened to her was a disgrace and the players should have a special section in hell reserved for them.JN

by TKG on

"Nicosia's strident tirades against the Sampas family eventually caused the entire BEAT-L community to disband"

I was naive to any issues of the Estate controversy when Gerry joined the list. What I recall is that his first post was not about the estate at all.

The responses to him were shockingly virulent and nasty and to me completely out of the blue and bizarre. Incredibly nasty personal insults seemingly for no reason at all.

Nicosia just fought back and he was a much better rhetorical fighter. He could write rings around the sad sacks who were trying to insult him so it seemed to many like Nicosia was bullying when he was fighting back.

by TKG on

From an article:

""Judge George W. Greer of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Florida added that his ruling does not make any decision on who may have actually forged the document. Judge Greer did state, “Clearly, Gabrielle Kerouac was physically unable to sign the document dated February 13, 1973 and, more importantly, that which appears on the will dated that date is not her signature.”""

This is what Jan Kerouac and Nicosia contended a long time ago. Their argument always made sense.

At the same time, I feel John Sampas has done a good job in overseeing the Estate and how the archival writings have been published and made commercially available. Some of the Dharma is an excellent publication, The Scroll, Hippos and other lesser publications.

Charles, I really liked seeing the photos on your web site. Jan Kerouac looked so much like her father. And the resemblance of Paul Blake is there as well.

I don't know much about Paul Blake, but it would seem that he was left out of the royalties unfairly compared to Jan Kerouac or the Sampas family.

by Levi Asher on

Well, TKG, with a decade's distance I feel bad that I myself got so wrapped up in anger towards Gerald Nicosia, who is undoubtedly a good biographer and an honest and caring person.

But I couldn't stand the way he filibustered on the BEAT-L mailing list -- any mention of Kerouac became an opportunity for him to talk about the estate. I didn't like the "which side are you on?" mentality. Apparently Ann Charters was a Sampas stooge. Then David Amram was a Sampas stooge. Then Allen Ginsberg was a Sampas stooge. It reminded me of McCarthyism.

And finally, Gerry pushed it over the edge for me with his "I am a scholar" intellectual arrogance. Yeah, "Memory Babe" was a good book, but I don't go for that "scholar" crap.

TKG, you're really bringing it all back for me! In retrospect, I wish I hadn't gotten so angry at Nicosia, who did have a good cause at heart. It's just that I liked the BEAT-L group a lot, but the group could not survive his campaign.

by Patricia on

Hi guys, I am hesitant to add my two cents, I remember the BeatL breakup differently than you. Yes Gerald would not shut up. I also remember the nasty attacks of him AND to anyone who wasn't against him. I never saw the BeatL breakup as due to Geralds steadfastness but due to the nasty attacks against him. I remember how many times he would drop it but then was twitted when he posted on any subject. It was to me a concentrated effort to drive him out or to shut him up with the frosting of the denigration of his scholarship. He wasn't allowed to back down and to his credit he didn't. I loved the BeatL list and have kept many friends from that conversation. I admire Gerald for his courage and his steel. Yes he was an in your face guy, with an uncomfortable passion. I could feel Sampa's cloaked presence on that forum and it was not standup.

by Patricia on

Oh Charley, I love you, I love your words and I love your god damn attitude. Thanks for the great link.
Patricia

Great victory of sorts. I say sorts because Sampas is bound to appeal and then what? The State Supreme Court and then the U.S. Supreme Court? By then Sampas can sell of what is left, unless the lawyer gets in injunction prohibiting this. Gerry fought a long battle and took a lot of shit from "literary shits." Good to see him see his fight was not in vain.

by Terry Kerouac-Dewar on

You all sound so knowledgabe about Jack. I am Jack's second cousin and Gerry Nicosia has been to my home many times. He interviewed my mother about Gabrielle's inability to write at the time of her death and before that. This was always common knowledge to us. It was my parents who brought Jan to Jack's house to meet him for the first time. I for one wish she was here to see this victory of sorts. The Sampas' will always control the estate because they have the money and Paul Blake certainly does not!!! I'm sure Jan is resting much easier now and Thank You Gerry for being such a good friend of the "True Kerouac Family!"

by lally on

To say that "John Sampas has done a good job" with Jack Kerouac's estate is to ignore the selling off of pieces of Jack's archive (such as the raincoat and individual letters to Johnny Depp et. al.) BEFORE Gerry Nicosia's valiant attempts to question the will became more commonly known, and to ignore the deletions in the archival works published (letters, journals, etc.) when they mention the Sampas family in any negative ways (such as jail terms etc.) or Jack's sexuality when it didn't serve the image, etc. Nicosia should be given not only credit but repayment for the time and effort he put into this fight and for the loss of work and standing in the publishing and academic world by those too indebted or willing to be indebted to the Sampas family to resist attacking and/or excluding him from seminal events and publishing projects etc. And it wasn't just Gerry who took some hits from this fight but many of us who supported him learned there were consequences in those worlds as well (a book accepted by Penquin/Viking and in preproduction with an enthusiastic editor suddenly no longer viable with that publisher when I took a stand in defense of Gerry and Jan's position on the estate, etc.).

by TKG on

Lally, you left out that they did in fact sell the scroll after the lawsuit was settled. Gerry always contended they planned to sell the scroll and he was proven right.

My comment was only that I am very happy to see Some of the Dharma published, to see the scroll published and Hippos published. Moreso, they were excellently done. The added commentaries on the scroll were interesting. The afterword to Hippos was a nice inclusion.

If the initial estate suit had gone the other way and Gerry had been able to oversee publications I also think he would have done a good job -- maybe better, but we can never know that because history went one way.

Gerry is a friend of mine (although I have been out of touch with him for a long time now) and I have a lot of respect for him and his endless perspicacity.

by T. Moran on

Just asking: On what basis does a person determine their self appointed right to get involved in what is clearly a family matter? Jan Kerouac was certainly entitled, as her right, to question and challenge the validity of Gabrielle Kerouac's will - as was and is Paul Blake Jr. But after all these years, I am still at a loss to understand how or why Gerald Nicosia determined it was his civic duty to put himself in the middle of it all. Does a biographer reasonably retain the right to interfere in the personal matters of their subject? If so, I expect there will be many more suits to come.

by Levi Asher on

I think that's a valid question, Tim. (I'm also interested to see your website at EdieKerouacParker.com.) I'm pleased by the variety of people connected to Jack's life who've come out to comment on this topic.

I have a mixed answer to your question. Personally, I believe every person -- biographer or not -- has a right to get involved in anything he or she wants to get involved in. But, at the same time, I do think there was a strange breach between private/family and public/literary matters here. As a Kerouac enthusiast, do I *have* to take a side on this controversy? I don't think so. It's about money, after all. Unless somebody's going to give *me* some of the money from the Kerouac estate, I don't see why I need to care what happens to the wealth generated from his books. I'm more interested in his books themselves.

by T. Moran on

ediekerouacparker.com is not my website - it was started by a friend of Edie's. I have no involvement beyond the fact that anyone could reach me through the site if they chose to.
What isn't about money? Every fiber of this country and society is about money. I have personal experience in the probating of Edie Parker's will and I can tell you from that experience and others that whenever someone dies, people crawl out of the woods from every corner to tell you how you are doing everything wrong. There are always people who feel some misguide sense of entitlement or position or say. There is never a shortage of malcontents possessing a deluded sense of entitlement.
I have knowledge of facts and people involved in this whole matter that I have neither read or heard stated anywhere. I can say without reservation that where all the facts known - not just what is here say, conjecture and speculation - peoples opinions might be different. However, that's not the way things work. Words are written and said, people make accusations and point fingers - but very little of it is either true or accurate. And from this people make judgments.

One thing I do know to be true: Since John Sampas took over control of the estate, Jack Kerouac has risen from being famous to an icon - I don't believe that is coincidence. Jack always felt he would never be taken seriously or be counted among the greatest of American writers until after he was dead. It would seem to me he was right. Anyone who believes John Sampas had nothing to do with Jack's legacy is either naive or just plain ignorant. Some, if not many, might disagree with John's way but there is one fact that cannot be disputed; Jack Kerouac is today revered, respected, studied and read as a great writer more than he ever was in his lifetime - that is all Jack wished for. How it came to be doesn't matter. What matters is that it has.

by David Rhaesa on

This all brings back memories.

Enjoyed the Beat-L days tremendously.

As I recall, someone on one side or the other was threatening to bring lawsuits against Bill as the listowner for things that were being said on the listserv. Bill was hosting it through CCNY and chose to shut it down rather than deal with such coercion. Can't say that I ever blamed him.

by Dan Barth on

Maybe President Obama will invite John Sampas and Gerry Nicosia to have a beer together at the White House.

Nicosia inserted himself into the controversy simply because he was very close to Jan, knew that her health was critical, knew that she needed the royalties she was being cheated out of by Sampas, and took it upon himself to inform as many people as possible that Sampas was selling off items from the Kerouac collection.

One example: When Depp read from Mexico City Blues on TV the royalties belonged to Jan. Jan never received those royalties. At the time I was in contact with Depp and his manager. They stated that the royalties were paid to Sampas. They never reached Jan. And this was a time in her life when she desperately needed money for medical care.

Perhaps Jack's last letter, a note to Paul Blake, will finally take on some importance. If you don't recall the letter Jack stated strongly that he didn't want anything of his to go to anyone in the Sampas Clan.

When I added that note by Jack to my web site years ago the Sampas lawyers threatened me with a lawsuits. They claimed it was part of the Kerouac archive, but that it as a forgery. I was disappointed that they never followed through, but they couldn't. The territory was too dangerous.

The recently published book, JAN KEROUAC: A Life In Memory, Ed. Gerald Nicosia (Noodlebrain Press, $21.95) is a moving collection of memories of Jan.

by T. Moran on

I don't know how close or familiar Mr. Grant is to any of the people involved, but I do know that the statements made are reflective of the fact that what is believed to be true and factual of the entire situation is based on one side of the argument; Gerry Nicosia's.Whether Jan was "cheated" out of anything does not account for the fact that she was receiving money from the estate - an amount any of us would be happy to have.
I am familiar with and have a copy of the letter Jack wrote to Paul Blake. Perhaps it is a forgery, perhaps not. If Jack did write it, is it not possible that he later changed his mind or wishes? In the process of contemplating one's final wishes, many, if not most, people change their wishes as circumstances and feelings change.

Additionally I would ask; If Jan viewed and regarded Gerry Nicosia as her spokesperson, why is it that she did not leave her own estate in his charge?
As for items sold off by the estate, I would offer that archives purchased by libraries are purchased primarily for their research value, and all libraries have limited financial resources. At a time when Edie Kerouac-Parker was contemplating what she would do with her archive she called Allen Ginsberg to seek his advice. Edie asked him who she should give it to and Allen's response was this; "Don't give it to anyone! Those things are valuable and there are plenty of people and places who would pay a lot of money for it."
Why is it that so many are obsessed with Kerouac's possessions? Why are the same objections not raised about the dispersal of the estates of William Burroughs or Allen Ginsberg or so many others? It would seem that there is something else at work - some other motivation cloaked as altruism.

by Levi Asher on

I see both sides of this argument. And it's nice to hear from many of you, like Terry and Joe Grant, both of whom obviously know a bit about this subject (also nice to hear from old friends David and Dan!).

But since several people who've commented here seem just about ready to canonize Gerry Nicosia on account of his devotion to Jan's cause, I do want to mention my original run-in with Gerry, which occured in 1995 and 1996. A person named Ralph Virgo got in touch with Jan Kerouac (and briefly put me in touch with her), and she was happy to accept his invitation to publish an original story, an excerpt from her then-unpublished novel "Parrot Fever", on LitKicks. We put the story up, and then I got a "cease and desist" message from Gerry Nicosia, acting on her behalf, saying that this would hurt the chances of publishing the manuscript. Since it never hurt a good story's chances at publication to be excerpted online, I knew this reason was bullshit, and I quickly gathered that he was simply exercising his right of control over Jan's work as some kind of demonstration of his authority. I don't know what this authority was, actually, and I should have asked. Anyway, I pretended to take the story down but kept it up. And that's how Gerry Nicosia and I got off to a bad start. I don't think he served Jan's interests well in this situation.

by TKG on

Aw man this is like an accretion disc.

I'm getting a bad sense of deja vu all over again.

Ahh, the great estate debate is on the tips of lips, once again.

To think that the signature was forged does not go hand in hand with thinking that Mr. Nicosia was engaged in a noble effort on Jan's behalf. One can believe that the will was forged but still not accept that a third party has the right to determine what should be done in the case just because they are a Kerouac 'scholar.'

In fact, one of the misrepresentations on Nicosia's part at the time was stating initially that Jan was getting $0 money from the Sampas/Kerouac estate where in fact she was getting reportedly over $50.000 a year at the time. Whether the amount was 'fair' is a separate question, but clearly there was a misrepresentation of a a major argument that was being make on his part.

The other issue is that at the time of Kerouac's death, the value of his 'estate' was minimal. I don't know the value of his mother's estate (which would include Kerouac's achives and literary estate) at the time of her death. It would be interesting to see how much estate tax had to be paid at the time, if any.

Anyway, the fact that Kerouac didn't make provisions for Jan, his nephew Paul, or any other children that he may or may not have had, is also a fact and the blame can't be placed on anybody else, Greek or not.

Beers at McSorleys

Attila, haven’t you heard? The era of Nicosia bashing is over. I’m really tired of all the lies you guys put out. I never “misrepresented” that Jan wasn’t getting 50% of Jack’s renewal royalties. The fact is I wrote all about how she had to fight the Sampases for three years to get those royalties. I wrote about it in Mike Lally’s FIRST BLOOD magazine in 1996 in an essay called "Kerouac-gate at NYU." The Sampases never told her that copyright law entitled her to 50% of Jack’s renewal royalties. It was John Steinbeck Jr. who told her that, in Boulder in 1982, and the Sampases resisted for three years and were finally forced in 1985 to pay her the royalties that the law mandated. That hardly speaks in their favor. When she first started getting them , they were ten or fifteen thousand dollars a year, and didn’t go up to more than fifty thousand dollars till the 1990’s, at which point she was already suffering from kidney failure and had enormous medical expenses. She was broke when she died, worse than broke, she was borrowing money to pay the rent, and that is fully documented in her archive, which is at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. The other big lie you guys tell is that I somehow “determined” what was done. Jan is on record over and over, including her own legal deposition taken in Florida, in making clear that she decided to file the suit when she looked at her grandmother’s will and realized it was not Gabrielle’s signature. It didn’t take a genius to know that an old lady paralyzed in bed for 8 years, who was lifted on and off the potty, wouldn’t have a strong, muscular signature right on the dotted line. What I did was support Jan, who was dying at the time, and fighting people who had millions of stolen dollars to oppose her with. I didn’t make the decision the will was forged—unless you now want to claim I have some Machiavellian power over George Greer too, who is known as the “toughest judge in Florida.” Look him up on Google if you don’t believe me—and see all the awards he has won for jurisprudence. The big question is not why did I support Jan Kerouac—but why didn’t all you other loudmouths come forward and speak up for Jack’s only child?

by Levi Asher on

Thanks for the note, Gerald. Greer's judgment certainly does go a long way to proving that you were right about the will, and you did fight the case bravely.

OK, a few more things. First, I apologize to Michael Lally. The name of his literary magazine was BLASTS!, but my nearly 60-year-old mind was confusing it because there was an image of blood dripping on the cover, and I was also mixing it with Michael Wojczuk's equally important literary magazine NEW BLOOD, to which I also was a contributor. I still have a few copies of the NYU Kerouac conference issue of BLASTS!, with contributions by myself, Jan Kerouac, Aram Saroyan, Mike Lally, and others--if anyone wants to get one. Next, as for the issue of the supposedly wonderful things John Sampas did for Jack Kerouac's memory. He censored virtually every text that was published posthumously, usually without any notice of what things were removed. Rod Anstee documented something like 300 deletions that were made from the first volume of the letters alone, many without an ellipsis to even let us know where things were taken out. Next, he oversaw the dispersing of the Kerouac archive into collectors' hands around the globe. I know a lot of ballyhoo was made of his selling the "leftovers" to the New York Public Library a few years ago. But how many of you are aware of this? NOT ONE roll manuscript (Jack didn't call them "scrolls") is in the Berg Collection. By my calculation, between 8-10 Kerouac books were typed on long rolls of paper. I got this information from Jack's letters, from interviews with his friends, etc. The list of "roll" books includes ON THE ROAD, THE DHARMA BUMS, THE SUBTERRANEANS, BIG SUR, DESOLATION ANGELS, SATORI IN PARIS, VANITY OF DULUOZ, even MEXICO CITY BLUES, which was later retyped on a roll of UPI paper from the little notebooks. Possibly a few others. All of these have been sold into private hands, and none are available for public study. We don't even know where they are, except for Jim Irsay and ON THE ROAD. Even ON THE ROAD is not study-able, being shipped around the world in a locked glass case. In Chicago at Columbia College, when I leaned too close to try to read some of the pencilled-in corrections, I was hauled off by two security guards, who claimed I was "getting fingerprints on the glass" (when actually I was leaning on the metal frame).

As for the Beat-L list, I was continually provoked in the most blatant ways--Phil Chaput writing that I was conceived when my father jacked off into a flowerpot; Paul Maher writing that my children would see my blood running down the gutters of the street, etc. As Patricia points out, I could never make any post, even ones about supposedly neutral subjects such as Jack's Buddhism, without getting hit by a cascade of these vicious attacks. And then when I would respond, I would be blamed for "bringing down the list." I do not recall ever writing anything about John Sampas or anyone at the level of "flowerpots" or "blood in the gutter." I would ask anyone to produce such a post, if they still have or remember one.

Finally, I wonder if any of you realize what a drag it is to continually have misinformation about your own life broadcast endlessly in print, on the internet, etc. One of the lies I keep seeing is that my MEMORY BABE archive was never closed at U Mass, Lowell. In fact, it was closed in 1995 at John Sampas's demand. I fought a legal battle for 11 years, with Neal Rosen of Bingham, McCutchen LLP in Boston as my lawyer, to try to get that archive reoopened. I tried talking sense into them for several years, and finally had to file an actual lawsuit, in 2001, in Boston. This lawsuit was identified as Civil Action No. 01-3950, GERALD NICOSIA V. MARTHA MAYO AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL. Finally, two years ago, just before the case went to trial, the U. of Massachusetts agreed to an out-of-court settlement, rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money to fight to keep the MEMORY BABE archive locked up. I paid to digitize the interview tapes, which were all deteriorating, the archive was reopened to the public, and I was given CD copies of all the interviews except for John Sampas's. During the litigation, U Mass Lowell revealed again and again that they were being pressured by John Sampas to keep my archives closed. That was one more lonely battle I fought, with no support from the literary community, and only thanks to the courage of that one attorney, Neal Rosen, are all those research materials on Jack Kerouac now available for study once again, by everyone, including readers of this website.

by Patricia on

This is one of the most interesting comment threads I have had the pleasure to read. Thanks Levi, Lit Kicks is a real source.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

"Paul Maher writing that my children would see my blood running down the gutters of the street, etc."

I only WISH I had thought that one up, it is certainly colorful, and just another example of how Gerry will take a quote and spin-doctor it into something graphic and provocative (just as he did with numerous anecdotes found in his pseudo-critical bio, Memory Babe). If you're going to spew out trash like that Gerry, back it up with a source. I did write something along the lines that your role as an agent provocateur in these estate matters was much like the Arkansas gunman. You missed the point, perhaps it was my fault.

Having worked and transcribed many primary documents in the Kerouac archive at the Berg for about four years now, Jack's own words certainly leavens the bread of archival fact against the synthetic Pop Tart filling you claim as "critical" in your book. Sure, it is a gripping read, much like a bio-pic like The Doors is an entertaining watch, but it serves less to ennoble Jack Kerouac with authorial dignity than remind us he was a drunk, loved his mother too much and liked lots of women and, apparently, men.

I am certainly open to criticism of my own work. The first book was written in over three years time, alone, doing my own footwork. John Sampas graciously checked for biographical consistencies and brought his own memories of the Lowell of Kerouac's time into my work. It was never a work-for-hire, nor did John Sampas ever tell me what to write or what not to write. He did tell me what I could not quote from with unpublished sources because the Kerouac Estate had signed a contract with Viking Penguin and Douglas Brinkley, giving them sole access to the archive until the biography was either finished or January 2006.

Empty Phantoms came right after and then, against my best interest, when I was twice sick and hospitalized with pneumonia, pleurisy and depression, I wrote Jack Kerouac's American Journey in only two drafts. It is a sloppy work rushed to meet the deadline of On the Road's 50th. When another draft was being worked on, Thunder's Mouth Press was sold to DaCapo Press, and everybody involved in the book was "let go" from their positions. This, of course, caused havoc with the book, and it was rushed into print instead of granting me more time. I still take blame. I will never again put my name on a book I am not happy with.

Next came my book of interviews with Miles Davis. Unanimously it received rave reviews.

I am now writing a three-part biography on Kerouac for a university press using the primary sources at the Berg, this time taking my time.
However, Kerouac is not my only work. I have been busy working on a documentary about Thoreau, a bio on the same subject and three screenplays.

"I cannot fight upon this argument;
It is too starved a subject for my sword."

Yet, others, still live in the land of the dead and fight for scraps in this cauldron of shit called the Internet. Take "Patricia" for example, who has been borderline cyber-stalking me, repeatedly calling my book "pablum" etc. My advice to you Patricia is to write a better book instead of spewing negativity.

The rest who remember me from back in the day. The biggest crime I ever committed, other than thieving silkworm books at the UMass library, was questioning Gerry's scholarship. Instead of fighting back with facts, he chose to put me down. Hypocrisy reared its head; he wrote a book about junkies, thieves, murderers, and adulterers, yet targets me, pointing out my crime (already admitted to in the court of law) as a means of fighting out of his corner.

I faced this person alone, for the most part, among a legion of fence-sitters, wafflers, opportunists, and neutrals.

Quoting something else I wrote and appropriated from my acquaintance Hershel Parker, who was similarly attacked by an embittered New Critic-age
NY Times book critic, I leave you with this:

Nicosia’s pattern is clear. He likes to ignores facts–biographical facts about Kerouac and facts about Kerouac scholarship (on his web site, in a statement authored in 2001, he still insists that the Kerouac archive is being sold piecemeal by Literary Executor John Sampas, a statement that does not measure up the inventory posted by the Berg). He is unable to admit when he is clearly in the wrong. He habitually rushes to judgment, to the wrong judgment, repeatedly. And he leaves havoc behind, real people in agony. When he deals with a great writer, he is indifferent to the writer’s legacy. Biographical facts do not interfere with his pleasure in attempting to destroy and diminish the important work of others. This is a cold man.

Paul Maher just continues to pile lie on lie. He sent me a picture of a tombstone, right after a teacher in Arkansas had been killed by one of his students. My name was on the tombstone. That hardly equates to saying I was a "provocateur" like the Arkansas gunman. (How is a gunman a provocateur anyway? Or perhaps he simply chooses not to make sense.) In any case, it was clearly a threat, as so much of the blood-laden imagery he sent me. It was the reason I took it all to the FBI, and they took it seriously as well. Or maybe he thought he was scoring points with Sampas by sending me these "warnings." Now he simply acts as an apologist for John Sampas. I just got through explaining that not one of the 8-10 roll manuscripts Jack wrote is in the Berg collection. Those are the core of Kerouac's archive and they are missing. Where are they, Paul? Perhaps your friend Mr. Sampas will give you the answer, and you can post it here.

by Mark Duggan on

Paul, If John Sampas is not selling off items piecemeal then why do items, clearly from his estate continually and on a regular basis pop up for sale..they may not be the most important items, but none-the-less..if not Sampas then who is selling the stuff. I just this morning looked at a drawing by Kerouac listed for sale @ 22,000.

Mark, a couple of things. One, I would appreciate if you would let us know where the Kerouac drawing was listed. I am tracking sales for Paul Blake, Jr., who may someday have a hope of recovering some of this. Paul, by the way, has made a public commitment to place everything he recovers in one, single archive--either a university or educational institution of some kind. Two, I would just say, that while Sampas has sold lots of letters and small notebooks, he has also sold the major manuscripts. I have absolutely credible testimony that THE DHARMA BUMS and at least one other of the roll manuscripts was sold into private hands, in addition of course to the famous sale of the ON THE ROAD roll (Jack didn't call them "scrolls," that's a Sampas word)--and I believe most or all of the other rolls were sold into private hands as well.

P.S. Those who might want to let me know of private sales of items from the Kerouac archive, but who don't want to post the information publicly here, can write me directly at gerald@geraldnicosia.com.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

I lie? I CHALLENGE you to come up with the words you quoted from me:

"Paul Maher writing that my children would see my blood running down the gutters of the street, etc."

If you had wrote that I wrote about a tombstone and an Arkansas gunman, I would have gladly took credit for that . . . both, fyi, taken out of context without my cartoon that went with it.

Per the Kerouac archive, true the rolls aren't in the Berg that I know of, and I don't know where they are and quite frankly, I don't care where they are. What the disposition of Kerouac's effects are and aren't isn't all that important to me. Regardless, I am still able to conduct my research with all the things that ARE in there without hindrance.

What law says that all of Kerouac's archive needs to be in one archive? Where does that happen for anybody of historical note? That is absurd. Studying Thoreau, I know that his stuff is all over the place, and not just manuscripts, but leaves from manuscripts are scattered in private collections, museums, libraries etc. They sliced leaves from one of the drafts of Walden to insert into a Collected Edition of Thoreau's Writings.

The Estate of Allen Ginsberg auctioned his stuff at Sotheby's. I saw no protest there.

So Gerry, call me a liar, call the FBI, call the CIA and the KGB. It doesn't matter one wit to me, but a liar and a hypocrite you will always be, no matter under what scrutiny you place me under. I will go on writing my books using the Berg collection and using the letters at UMass Lowell if need be. But I will not be using the biography called Memory Babe because it has not stood the test of time and lies fallow under the sod of truth. Recording second-hand information from friends, acquaintances, lackeys, estranged wives and bitter girlfriends does not qualify for a "critical" biography. Nor does using freshman-level analysis of literature . . .

Jack Kerouac would have taken a long beer piss all over that mess.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

. . and Mark, I don't know what John Sampas sells or does not sell. I'm not his confidante, and I never was. I can tell you that what he does sell is his business acting as the executor of an estate that has other heirs attached to it. There are legal issues. He has to answer for what he does, he does not act alone. So, when you blame it all on one person, you are merely toeing cloudy waters of which you or anybody else not tied into the parties involved have little understanding. What I surmise is that John may have inherited these items, and if so, they are his to do what he wishes, just like anyone else with an inheritance. (and don't counter with the argument about a forged will, I don't know, don't care, and I have no position on it, it . . . just . . . does . . . not . . . matter . . . to me.)

Lois Sorrels sold Kerouac drawings and letters before, and so did Helen Weaver, and Joyce Johnson. One of Kerouac's boyhood friend's mother, Billy Chandler, sold a letter and drawing with an original story related to Doctor Sax as well. There are dozens of examples like this.

To say that one person is going to try and collect everything related to Kerouac and place it into one institution is absurd beyond measure. That's like saying some war vet will collect everything related to the Vietnam War and place it under one roof.

The material at the Berg is mind-boggling. There are over sixty unpublished diaries, dozens of unpublished journals and notebooks from the 1940s charting the progress of Kerouac's artistry and intellect from 1936 until he broke through with the scroll. I know this because I have transcribed much of it for my own book I am writing. Check it out at the link below, absorb what there is to offer and then go for the stuff that's missing if you have a real scholarly reason to have it.

http://www.nypl.org/research/manuscripts/berg/brgkeroa.xml

Denying the existence of a solid working archive (as Kerouac arranged it) at the Berg is just doing so out of pure spite and bitterness. One institution cannot have everything. Ask the curators at the JFK Museum in Boston who have an impressive research archive focused on Ernest Hemingway. Still, as vast as that is, they too do not have the material that still sits in private collections and libraries around the world.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

these are the scrolls in the Berg:

52.1 Typescripts: "Beat Spotlight," "Beat Spotlight (Notes)," and "Esquire Magazine." With two related typescript fragments. Circa 1968. 5 leaves. [With Oversize Kerouac papers (+++)].

52.2 Typescript, revised: "Bomb / Corso" (written in Gregory Corso's hand on verso. "Original MS of Bomb" in Kerouac's hand on inner cardboard tube [missing]. Typed by Kerouac.
Undated. 1 leaf measuring 83.8 cm x 20.8 cm (approximately). [With Oversize Kerouac papers (+++)].

52.3 Typescript "God's Wisdom." Titled in Kerouac's hand on verso "Dharma Bums 'Greek' / Reject." Typed by Kerouac. Circa 1958.
1 leaf measuring 95 cm x 21.5 cm (approximately).
[With Oversize Kerouac papers (+++)].

52.4 Typescript "Bums reject (good) (blonde in car) / (2)." Titled in Kerouac's hand. Also titled "Dharma Bums reject" in pencil.
Undated. 131.6 cm x 21.5 cm(approximately).

52.5 Typescript "The Diamond Vow of God's Wisdom." Wrapped in brown paper. November 11, 1957. 307 cm x 21.5 cm(approximately).

52.6 Typescript "Memory Babe."
June, 1958. 4 leaves.[Scroll is in four sections] as follows: (1) 171.5 cm x 21.5 cm; (2) 170 cm x 21.5 cm; (3) 178 cm x 21.5 cm; (4) 73.5 cm x 21.5 cm (approximately).

Paul-- When you come clean, I'll talk to you. You deny the importance of MEMORY BABE, yet in your Kerouac biography "The Definitive Biography" you cite about 100 pieces of material that CAME FROM MY ARCHIVE AT U MASS LOWELL, without ever acknowledging that you used the MEMORY BABE archive. You might note that as part of my settlement with U Mass Lowell, they will make sure that from now on, when people like yourself come to use my research materials, they properly cite "from the MEMORY BABE archive" in their footnotes and citations.

I also think it's very telling about your own morality, Paul, that you find nothing wrong with the Sampas family stealing the inheritance and the literary legacy that belonged to Kerouac's daughter and nephew. This has now been established in court--the Sampas family carried off the biggest literary theft of the 20th century, if not all time. But that bothers you not at all. No wonder, then, that you went into my archive at U Mass, Lowell,--a fact which is verified by librarian Martha Mayo--helped yourself to loads of my research, passed it off as your own without so much as a single citation to me or MEMORY BABE, and then had the gall to spend the last 15 years attacking me and my work. You and John Sampas deserve each other.

by Levi Asher on

A lot of the points in this thread are new to me, so I've been reading and trying to evaluate it all as it goes by (to put this in perspective, as I've said before, I try to be impartial and I have no relationship or connection with any of the principals here).

Gerald, I have to say that some of your latest points here are leaving me behind. First, you say that Paul Blake, Jack Kerouac's nephew on whose behalf the lawsuit in Florida was won "has made a public commitment to place everything he recovers in one, single archive–either a university or educational institution of some kind."

Why would that be a good thing? I suppose it would be good in that it could guarantee a certain level of quality control in how the archive is maintained, but it would also make it much harder for average readers to ever see any of the pieces in the archive. It's because John Sampas sold the "On The Road" roll (I'll take Gerry's point that the word "scroll" is overused here) to Jim Irsay that it was then exhibited around the country. Isn't that a good thing? Do we really need a clean-hands glass-room "Vatican" approach to Kerouac memorabilia?

And also, just to act as judge on a point of debate: the fact that Paul Maher benefited in writing his book from using the Memory Babe Archives does not imply that he must approve of the book Memory Babe.

Gerry, I do think you have some legs to stand on in this overall argument -- Paul Blake won the lawsuit, and that's the biggest fact here -- but these latest points of yours just don't seem solid.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

I used the Xeroxed correspondence that you illegally sold to UMass Lowell. Let me put it under a legal spotlight. You took unpublished material, a huge copyright infringement, and sold it as part of your research archive. The Kerouac Estate had every right in the world to pull those letters from circulation, but did not. So, I credit the library with the material and not you, they didn't belong to you in the first place.

Martha Mayo has an axe to grind, so she uses your agenda as her whetstone. In a word to her, "fuck her."

You can question my morality all you want, the fact is, I have a beautiful family, a great life and I can sleep soundly at night with a clear conscience knowing that I am a good father, husband and American.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

. . . and tell me how a UMass Lowell librarian will ensure a researcher cites their work the way you decree?

I feel that the Kerouac Estate has just as much validity to demand that researchers credit the Estate when using Jack Kerouac's letters . . .once they get permission to quote from them from the Estate that is.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

One last thing, you invoke morality as the key ingredient, and yet your hypocritical ways rears its ugly head again. In your monotonous press release you berate John Sampas, accusing him of putting Memory Babe out of print, Yet, you, the proverbial viper in the grass, sent out emails to my publisher, Douglas Brinkley and Lord knows who else, trying to bring me down. Each and every one of them let me know, they CCd me, I saw your lies and propaganda in a desperate attempt to bring my good name into the dirt with you. Since you could not attack my scholarship, you attacked my character resurrecting a crime I committed in 1991 to state your case. Well, Gerry, it all backfired. After your emails, I sold two more books and got a nice blurb from Brinkley.

If you want to be Dr. Morality, then start acting like a moral person.

I leave this thread with my good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, of whom's grave I stood over today:

"The definition of success--To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded."

Thank you Levi for allowing me this opportunity to write this out. I have grown and changed much since the days of Beat-L. I have suffered, endured and learned much and I truly do love all mankind, even Mr. Nicosia.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

for those interested, since we should be dealing only with facts, here is a link to two pdf files.

One is a court order declaring Jan Kerouac's legal wish to be severed from any and all relations with Gerald Nicosia.

The other is the final decision regarding the lawsuit from Paul Blake Jr. against the Estate of Gabrielle Kerouac, which bars any seizure of the assets and inheritances of her heirs.

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=a11c619ef32f3df4d1014a7a667fa2b4e04e7...

by Paul Maher Jr. on

. . . and since Gerald Nicosia has no problem taking Jack Kerouac's letters, Xeroxing them and selling them as his own property, here is a letter illustrating his ardent wish to capitalize and profit off of the name of Jack Kerouac, among other things (with permission of David Bowers).

http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=a11c619ef32f3df4d1014a7a667fa2b4aca39...

by cveditions on

First and foremost let me say that Charley DID NOT make that comment. I did - Pam Plymell.

The old Beat-L that Bill Gargan maintained was an important contribution to "Beat" research and its demise over the virulent "Kerouac estate" dispute was a great loss.

Levi I really enjoy reading your blog. I can't believe the controversy is coming alive again.
Take care,
Pam Plymell

by Paul Maher Jr. on

Note this, that there is no "controversy" when there is irrefutable fact to contend with . . .

True, the judge determined the will to be a forgery, but to what end? They already determined prior to that, that the assets of the inheritance of Gabrielle Kerouac cannot be seized by a court (see the pdf file above).

I don't see why people are all up in arms about this, it isn't their life or their legacy. And the legacy of Jack Kerouac, as I can tell, and I am in agreement with Tim Moran, is from writer to American icon because of the hard-work and dedication of John Sampas, a first-rate, selfless gentleman who is spending a good chunk of his life putting out Kerouac's writings.

I have no personal gain by posting here other than defending my reputation against a monstrous fabricator.

As in biography, facts are the determining factor of a soundly-researched book. The same can be said here.

by TKG on

Paul, I guarantee you your reputation is fully intact. No need to worry. It continues as a purveyor of reprehensible vitriolic nastiness on the internet.

Cheers!

by Paul Maher Jr. on

I truly don't think I am being vitriolic by defending myself.

My comment about Martha Mayo and her ties with Kerouac can be detected here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?tzwne2njmz2

You see, she had been blaming me for the theft of Gerald Nicosia's archive and had lied when she said that police had found some of it in my apt. and returned it to UMass Lowell. The only problem is, that both the Lowell Police Department and UMass Lowell Campus police both denied that she had filed a report about ANY Kerouac items being stolen before 1997, when Nicosia had filed his own report.

Nicosia, according to this article, did not notice ANY of his stuff stolen until August 1993, which were a "few transcripts and a tape of one interview." THEN, he reported the rest stolen in 1997, apparently.

Call me vitriolic, but Mayo was covering her own sloppy role as curator by alleviating Nicosia's anxieties by blaming me for the "theft." When Nicosia knew that she wasn't telling the truth, he stuck to his story by smearing my name and implicating me in the loss of his items, then raising the ante by tying John Sampas into the deal by suggesting that he was suppressing some kind of conspiracy.

Conspiracies, you see, are Gerald Nicosia's stock in trade. Just ask the Kerry headquarters and the Republicans who he tried to create some drama and put his name into the press by staging a Watergate-style break-in at his home in California. This is only glaringly ridiculous when he refused to let the police conduct a standard criminal investigation in his home. If you need that link too, I have it.

To this date, neither Nicosia or Martha Mayo have shown any integrity by apologizing for trying to smear my character.

BTW, the signed postcard from Kerouac to John Montgomery, I found it in 2005. It was carelessly tucked into a folder of correspondence, No stamp from the university, nothing. Just another example of the incompetence of the head librarian at the U-Mass Lowell Library for Lowell History.
I could have just as easy stolen it and made myself some cash. Nope, I turned it over to the front desk. But you won't hear them mention that, nor Nicosia.

Levi-- You're supposed to be moderating this. Yet you let Maher print all the lies he wants. This is outrageous that you let this thief write lies that I have stolen Kerouac letters. If I stole them, why wasn't I ever prosecuted? It is in the copyright law that a scholar can make a single copy of ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL, including a letter, and he can give that copy to anyone he wants, unless the source of the letter specifically tells him otherwise. By the way, half the material I put at U Mass Lowell was given as a donation--that would include the xeroxed letters. The materials in the archive that had monetary value were my manuscripts, original letters, original taped interviews, and so forth. Xeroxes have no monetary value--a fact I'm sure Mr. Maher knows. No. 2) I did not say he must approve of MEMORY BABE. I said since he used about 100 items from my archive, he should have properly cited the Memory Babe archive for the research material he was borrowing. Not to credit me, and then to attack my book as worthless after he has used my own research, is outrageous from any ethical standpoint. 60 rare letters--from Ginsberg, Burroughs, et al, were stolen from my MEMORY BABE archive in the 1990's--no one is really sure when. It is awfully interesting to me that Paul Maher happened to be in possession of one of them in 2005.

Paul keeps talking about facts and keeps printing lie after lie. There was no "court order" severing me from Jan. There was a computer-printed document supposedly found by her half brother after she died, dated in March, stating her wish to stop communicating with me. Significantly, it was not signed, and was not drawn up by Jan herself, who had no computer in her apartment and typed or handwrote everything. If genuine, it would be hard to explain how she called me up till the time she went into the hospital, shown by phone records, and also wrote to me and sent several presents for my daughter Amy, whom I'd just adopted, through April and May of that year (she died June 5). Also, Mr. Maher's "fact" runs into the problem of the last taped interview Jan gave, to the Italian film crew that interviewed her by phone on May 2, 1996, a month before she died, in which she told interviewer Dianne Jones "I've known Gerry for a long time, for like twenty years ... it's just been a long friendship ... Mostly Gerry is the one who winds up helping me the most, from afar." This interview is printed in the Thunder's Mouth Press edition of TRAINSONG.
And if the Florida court decision means nothing, why is it the Sampas family has been frantically trying to file appeals for the last two months? The fact that I'm being attacked all over again speaks louder than anything about what a serious crisis the Sampas family is in--now that the world knows what crooks they are.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

You are chasing windmills again, Gerry. Until THOSE documents are proven false, I abide by facts.

That postcard was stuck in a folder with correspondence. That's the truth. I handed it to a librarian, not Mayo, and told her it was signed by Kerouac and should be more carefully guarded. The fact that you find it curious speaks volumes about your character.

You truly are one of the biggest pussies I ever knew, crying to Levi. It was that same incessant whining that brought down Beat-L, not me.

BTW, I friended you on Facebook.

Lotta Continua,
Paul Maher Jr.

by Levi Asher on

Me, moderate? I'll try. Barack Obama is dealing with the Middle East right now, trying to create a framework for peace between Israel and Palestine. In this positive spirit, I urge Gerry Nicosia and Paul Maher to call a truce, at least. We heard both of you. You both have some good points on your side. Let's let it rest for a while and see what happens next.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

let me define "stolen the letters' for you Gerry, since you seem to always go for the literal vein. Stolen means that you took unpublished material with an intellectual copyright, made copies of them and dispersed them wherever you saw fit (just like the Lois Sorrels tape you sold like pinched radios out of the trunk of a beat-up Chevy), and "donated" them to a major university. THOSE letters were the valuable part of your archive, not your scribbles.
If what you are saying is in fact true, then I can take all of the unpublished Kerouac material I have and donate them to my alma mater, UMASS LOWELL, and have nothing to fear.

The only one in a state of crisis is you, you are constantly pointing fingers instead of building on the scholarship you claim everybody is indebted to. But you can't, you are a washed up sad sack who hasn't done one minute of archival research in a library. When's the last time you transcribed a whole notebook and gleaned it for information? When is the last time you wrote a forward-thinking thesis that shed new light on Jack Kerouac? 1981? Almost 30 years ago?

Let's try this Gerry, instead of sticking your nose in business that doesn't concern you, let's talk Kerouac.

Well, I have a book to finish.

Lotta Continua,

Paul Maher Jr.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

Of Jan Kerouac ----

the key words speak legions, "from afar"

You gleaned that interview out of many and used it in the book to misrepresent yourself in her life after she was gone. Just as you did in her NY Times obituary when you titled yourself as "her father's biographer" when you were in fact a biographer who used her father as the subject of your book. Up until 2006, Jack Kerouac's biographer was Douglas Brinkley until he backed out of the deal.

The book Baby Driver couldn't sell itself without a huge photo of Jack Kerouac gracing the cover with a little picture of Jan stuck in the middle, almost as an obliging afterthought. But the book had to sell like those Levi Strauss jeans and "Kerouac Wore Khakis," right Gerry?

I remember years ago, it was Jan Kerouac at the cafeteria of Middlesex Community College when someone asked her for an interview after they were told by Gerald Nicosia that she couldn't do interviews, but that they had to wait for a press conference. Her words?

"Of course I can. Don't mind him, HE ALWAYS TRIES TO RUN MY LIFE." CAPS mine for emphasis. You're the Svengali of the ill, inept and incompetent Gerry.

Did you get Jan Kerouac's estate to give you permission to use her artwork in your book?

Of course not . . .

But I have a better idea, let's talk it over with a few beers at one of the roughest bars in Lowell, the Cosmo, when you come down and plug your book. I'll be waiting.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

To close my argument, since the letters were not yours, and I used only those letters in the course of my research, I rightly credited the university as the hosting institution, Martha Mayo and her assistants, and the Estate of Jack and Stella Kerouac.

Not Memory Babe . . .

Mt defense rests.

See you in Lowell . . . want to meet at the Mogan Center first and have tea with Miss Mayo?

Lotta Continua.
P.

Paul, I'd believe anything you tell me about Jan or anyone else about as far as I could throw all those bags of loot John Sampas has made off the so-called Kerouac Estate. Jan's last interview was taped, and the Italians have the original. Let's get something clear here. Forging a will to steal a $30 million estate is a crime. Stealing books and letters from a public institution is a crime. Xeroxing copyrighted material is NOT a crime--and you can read that in the copyright law, if you ever bother to pick it up. Letting someone read the Xerox is not a crime. No one is going to pay you five cents for a Xerox. They are shared for the purposes of scholarly study, and that's all I was doing in giving mine to Lowell. The 60 letters that were stolen from my collection had actual value. Two of them showed up on eBay 2 years ago for $400 each. Since you seem to know everything else about me, you ought to know that too. Therefore 60 X $400 equals $24,000 worth of letters were stolen, far more than the $7,500 I charged Lowell for my entire collection--which was appraised at $15,000 way back in the 1980's. Now I know that John Sampas claims a person can't even read Kerouac's words without his written permission. He wrote that to Tony Bliss at Bancroft Library and to Tom Staley at the U. of Texas Humanities Resource Center. If he keeps talking like that, they're going to lock him up in a loony bin.

By the way, helping Jan "from afar" refers to the fact that she was in Albuquerque and I was in California, a thousand miles away. She was saying I helped her more than people close at hand, like her famous "ex-sisterinlaw."

by Paul Maher Jr. on

if they showed up on eBay, then why didn't you track the provenance to the person who stole it?

by Levi Asher on

Gerald and Paul -- I'd like to suggest that this dialogue has run its course. While you have both been addressing each other, in fact it's the rest of us who are your listeners here, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we've heard enough.

What unites us all here is an interest in the legacy of Jack Kerouac -- who, I think we can all agree, didn't do a very good job of clarifying how he wanted his future estate and archives handled. I hope that great writers alive today will learn a lesson from this.

by Paul Maher Jr. on

Thanks Levi . . .

by Paul Magno on

All of this is severely hampering my dream to license and distribute a line of Kerouac-related Pez dispensers...

by David Stuart on

Levi,

It's been interesting, to say the least, to read the dialogue recently here. As an old member of the Beat L.,I witnessed alot of energy enacted by those swimming hard upstream. My sister, Jan Kerouac, had her own unspoken version of the Tao. Unless anyone on this list grew up with her, and knew her through every phase of her life, please don't assume that you did know her completely.

Peace,

David Stuart(artist previously known as David Bowers).

by diane de rooij on

Levi et. al.-- (apologies if this came in twice... had a problem with that Capcha image)

I see that this discussion is very old, with the last post (hi David!) in October 2009.

But I will add one thing, in case anyone is still reading this discussion, which was pointed out to me only today. This item is important, since in the coverage of the scroll's visit on the west coast, Nicosia, for some reason, added a bit of trivia which is complete fiction. Here are his own words:

"But how many of you are aware of this? NOT ONE roll manuscript (Jack didn't call them "scrolls") is in the Berg Collection. " Gerald Nicosia, posted here on August 26th, 2009 at 2:08pm.

Quotes from Jack to follow...

"I have grapefruit, oranges, & tangerines-and one particular holy tangerine that fell on my head, square on the middle noggin, as I was reading the Diamond Vow of God's Wisdom (vajrachedikkaprajnaparamita) [sic] with a little change by J.K. the Buddha-Dog........ copy of which, I'm typing on a 30 foot roll, scroll, will show you this early spring or wait a minute, around New Years...."

"Wanta tell you, I just finished writing my shining new novel THE DHARMA BUMS all about Gary, the real woodsy vision of Gary, not surrealistic romantic vision, my own puremind trueself Ti Jean Lowell woods vision of Gary, not what you guys will like particularly, actually, tho, there's a lot of Zen Lunacy throughout and what's best: all the tremendous details and poems and outcries of the Dharma Bums at last gathered together in a rushing narrative on a 100 foot scroll..."

"Here are the galleys exactly as I want them published. I want to be called in to see the final galley and check it again against my original scroll, since I'm paying for this and my reputation depends on it."

"I'd intended to carry story to Wisconsin—Neal emerges again great—Also Lew Welch, of course, and Whalen—Later—Am typing it up—Off long scroll—"

"Hey! if you have time, send HEAVEN rollscroll poem back too if you can find it, if not, send it back when you get back"

"(1) ON THE ROAD, singlespace scroll in possession of Keith Jennison, and do tell him that I will be needing the tax deduction."

"(3) THE DHARMA BUMS, original typed scroll singlespace, here in house. Also, editor's copy."

"(10) BIG SUR, orig. singlespace typed scroll ms. here in house."

Me again. Those are 8 references from the first book of letters, heavily redacted & incomplete since they were "selected" not "collected," where Jack his-very-self referred to his scrolls as scrolls. I wonder how many other times he used the word "scroll" instead of "roll." I didn't find a single reference where Jack used the word "roll."

I could say so much more, but I must continue on my book--the book that allows me to find such references in all of Kerouac's books, right up to HIPPOS, which I think is a brilliant book, by the way.

So hi to everyone I know & care about here. I haven't seen or talked to most of you for a long time. Others have subscribed to the Subterraneans list--which, thank god, will never die--& I appreciate the manner in which people there address each other. Everyone is polite, even when a discussion amps up a little, & that netiquette is completely voluntary. I love it.

Not to mention Nicosia calls them "scrolls" in his own book.

by David Stuart on

And not to further stir the pot, but last week archaeologists found scrolls wrapped in woven bulrushes in Pleistocene sediment that contain references to Jack. As these scrolls are more than 11,000 years old, we can only surmise he knew how to time travel, or had time traveling friends.
This is one reason I love pop culture---everything is possible, nothing impossible.

by Patricia on

I was pleased to read such varied comments from so many people. I especially appreciated hearing from David Stuart. So many people think of these people as public figures, while they, more importantly were persons.

On a tedious note, I hate to give Paul any attention but no I am not a crazed stalker. When Paul first came into my Internet circle, he sent me very personal back channels, the most amusing was he threatened to ruin me academically. He is a real name caller and I would like to point out to the readers, Paul does not know me either personally nor in any professional capacity. For my character one should check with people who have had interaction with me. He was personally abusive and so I blocked him. One thing, I don't shut up or back down from my opinion because someone blasts me with hateful remarks. My style it more get in their face and right back at them. I prefer civil discourse and find such malicious interaction more boring than most do. I do plan to continue posting my opinions and am small enough to hope it irritates the self aggrandizing cad that would prefer I could be bullied. I am just not that kind of woman.

i was so disappointed on 1998 when the Beat-L was over so quick w/out a really reason.

of course che ArchiveControversy was a great debate, historical too, but alot of people were on Beat-L and topics can be changed by itself with patience & peace. my opinion is that was a personal bitterness among the moderators of the List to kill the list. (the the death of ginsberg and burroughs in '97 were a great moment to commemorate thebeat generation ... anyway... thing goes so ... tears among the rain in cyberspace)

in a way B-L resorted as Subterraneans but with the explicit censored point dont spek abt ArchiveControversy, so it was over in short lapse of time.

great time, good time never back again
w luv yr italiano friend
rinaldo.
venice, italy, february 14, 2011.

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