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Wed Feb 5, 2020, 08:11 AM

Jack Kerouac: 'The Night and What It Does to You

October 30, 1969

LOWELL, Massachusetts­ — Jack Kerouac, the man who unwillingly named a generational sensibility and wrote an American classic, died on Tuesday, October 21. He was buried here on Friday, October 24, and I went up with mingled feelings (warmth, regret, a patronizing curiosity, an obscure kind of longing to pay homage) to witness his funeral.

I traveled by plane to Boston, and then by a commuters’ train the 26 miles to the small manufacturing town of Lowell where Kerouac grew up, and from which he continually, repeatedly bolted for the whole of his life. I decided to walk the mile or so from the station to the Church of St. Jean-Baptiste where Kerouac was to be buried. I wanted to look the town over and think a bit about what he might have seen on these streets.

It was a brilliant, very cold, very clear day, and the four and five-story buildings of brick or stone that lined Lowell’s narrow streets looked cut out against the cloudless blue sky; the sun danced, the air sparkled, the distant trees tossed their yellow and red and brown leaves and it seemed especially indecent that Jack Kerouac lay dead 10 or 20 blocks from where I now walked. What I found most remarkable in the town was the friendliness of the people. The garbage man said “Good morning, dear” and didn’t ogle me; a grocery delivery man said: “Oh, it’s a day for your mittens, dearie!” and laughed in the sun; a waitress in a diner gave me coffee and we talked for 10 minutes about how we were both getting colds, the weather was changing so suddenly; the counterman strained to give me exact directions to the church and in the end offered to take me over there himself.

https://www.villagevoice.com/2020/02/04/jack-kerouac-the-night-and-what-it-does-to-you/


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douglas9 Feb 5 OP
dhill926 Feb 5 #1
B Stieg Feb 5 #2

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Wed Feb 5, 2020, 10:13 AM

1. K & R....

interesting read...

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Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Wed Feb 5, 2020, 12:42 PM

2. Fitzgerald's version...

“In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day.”

The Crack-Up (1945)

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