Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Amazing Jack Kerouac Autograph Letter Signed, "Jean", three pages, 6" x 9" on note paper, Orlando, Florida, March 27, 1962 to Jacques Beckwith, New York City. It reads in full: "Dear Jacques - I didn't leave 'unceremoniously', I was in Hicksville L.I. near Idlewild Airport (at my lawyer's house) & took the first plane I could get because also I was coughing & choking on my coughing like a T.B. - And sure enough, in a week, the Florida sunshine & sleep got rid of the cough - Didn't you hear me cough in N.Y.? (mostly from sleeplessness for 7 days & nights, thus more smoking & nerves) (& bronchitis had set in) - I was really afraid of winding up in a N.Y. hospital -

    And to come back to Manhattan from L.I. & & start drinking with Lucien or Gregory again would have done it - & with poor Hugo -

    of course I'm not mad at you, Jacques my buddy - Mad at Lois, yes, but for no good reason because she's always had other guys anyway - But she's gotten mean for the first time, mean to me I mean, since that idiot psychoanalytical warlock's got hold of her - But I'm not even mad at Lois because every time I had a chance to make love to her I deliberately got drunker anyway because I really don't believe in Sangsara anymore just like I was when she first met me & she begged me to make love to her & I would not for months - Sangsara is the work of Maratha Tempster and I'm not going to be tempted so easily any more - I'm a priest at heart even tho such a wiseguy loudmouth 'wit' when I feel 'good' on booze - I'm not 'tough', just a soft hearted Imbecile - over - And Lois & Janet & all those other girls actually scare me down deep (Dodie didn't scare me half as much!) - They scare me because of their slinky beauty like snake-beauty...what do they want? Out of me? If they won't give me a piece of ass because I'm a rowdy inattentive monk drunk, then why do they want to see me? They scare me like the Devil - Their intentions are not honorable. - They also realize I don't like women & never did - I only like their bodies for sex - I think women are evil the way they coolly manage men with big ungovernable hurting hard-ons - Let the devil take his Eve back - I am Adam and I'm alone again with all my ribs intact

    as for N.Y., you saw what happened - If I cant even keep a cheap hotel room to read in & sleep in& meditate in....what can I do in N.Y. but be a drunken mess? It's a shame you've never known me when I'm sober, in the woods, & don't say much - you will someday -

    I'm back at my writing work again now, on this cool halfmoon night - I sit by my new little cumquat tree & wait for my mind to organize another drama for the necessary exercise of my poetic narrative - like Handel I sometimes fall on my knees and pray for work -

    Page Two Right now I'm just waiting - typing up old poems & haikus & prose pieces & putting them together in different bound volumes - and pretty soon I'm going to study the history of Europe in detail - I meanwhile dabble at the New Testament, Thoreau's 'Week on concord & Merrimack', Psalms of David, George Herbert's holy poetry, Haiku of Japan: Spring rain/ Conveyed under the trees/ in drops - Basho Harusame no / Koshita ni tsutau / shizuku kana etc.

    by the way Jacques, why don't you throw those 3 books in an envelope (Morley & Singer) & send 'em to me - ordinary mail, 25-cents or so -

    I'm paying $52 a month for the girl they say is my daughter - I still know she's no Kerouac but the law insists & besides I can afford it now - But I will have nothing to do with her or her mother or her mother's lovers - (The Judge told me the N.Y. Supreme court allows no illegitimacy, and the blood test doctor works for the Supreme Court, is appointed by the Supreme Court, so there are no bastards in N.Y. State period.) -

    I wanted to see Lucien & Cesssa again but tell them how sick I was - Enclosed is a letter for Dear Hugo (Give it to him or mail it on) A plus tar copain Jean
    ". Entirely in pencil. Staple in upper left corner of second page and staple perforation in upper corner of first page resulting in minimal loss. With original stamped mailing envelope addressed in Kerouac's hand. The letter is clean and in very fine condition; the envelope is somewhat soiled with an old tape repair to one side and is in fine condition. Jack Kerouac is revered as America's foremost writer of the "Beat" generation, having published such landmark works as "On the Road", "The Dharma Bums" and "Visions of Cody". Born Jean-Louis to French-Canadian parents in 1922, Kerouac gravitated to the creative, free-thinkers of mid-1940s New York and became friends with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Neal Cassady and Gregory Corso. Kerouac's rambling, drunken lifestyle led to physical ailments, depressions and strained relationships. His second wife, Joan Haverty, in fact, sent Kerouac packing in 1952 while she was pregnant with their daughter, Janet. In 1957 Kerouac settled in a modest Orlando, Florida bungalow, which is probably where the letter offered here was written. This letter not only reflects Keouac's mental state in the spring on 1962, it mentions important people in his life such as editor - and convicted killer - Lucien Carr, Beat poet Gregory Corso, painter Hugo Weber, girlfriend Lois Sorrell and his estranged daughter Janet. Interestingly, Kerouac signs off with his given French name rather than the Anglicized "Jack", implying that Beckwith must have been a very old acquaintance.


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 6,581

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 44 days left to consign to the 2018 October 25 Manuscripts - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $615,551