Jack Kerouac: a chicken-essay by Victor-Lévy Beaulieu
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Quebec. Coach House Quebec Translations. 1975. Ed. of 1000. Softcover w. art paper jacket. Book Condition: Fine, expected tanning to page outer edges over time. Jacket Condition: Near Fine, small nicks at corners and spine. 170pp. (ill. in b/w).
Trans. by Sheila Fischman
Includes poster of original photos by Allen Ginsberg of Kerouac and friends (New York: The Ginsberg Archive at Columbia University.
Beaulieu’s “Jack Kerouac: a chicken-essay” is both testament and riff on the life, writing, and propensities of Jack Kerouac; the figure eponymous with that bright, human impulse to write oneself down. Beaulieu's project is, as he proclaims in his first raucous, unrelenting sentence, to “take the whole skein out of the wordbox called Jack Kerouac.” Already he’s introducing, almost as fact, the way Keruoac (and others from his generations) builds his identity from his language play - taking liberties with the French language, for example; or sudden stints of solo punctuation marks - and which always reads like it was built to break. Riding that fault line, this book is a discursive resurrection for the purpose of a dear collaboration: a historical, literary, and simply pleasurable “chicken essay: ‘[that] tale that’s told for no other reason but companionship, which is another (and my favorite) definition of literature…’” (Kerouac).
Orig. published as "Jack Kerouac: essai-poulet" by Editions du Jour (1972: Quebec, Canada).