Saturday, 8 May 2010


Letters of Note: Correspondence deserving of a wider audience is a fantastic site edited by Shaun Usher. It gathers fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes and memos and posts a daily entry. A quick flick through has uncovered a host of goodies not least the above letter written by Jack Kerouac in early 1957 to Lucien Carr. Kerouac had travelled to Tangier to help William Burroughs assemble and type-up sections for what Kerouac would later be credited in titling The Naked Lunch; an experience that would famously give Jack nightmares.

As you can read, it wasn’t just Burroughs’s writing that played on Jack’s mind as he describes his host’s unpredictable behaviour, including the hilarious line “he keeps saying he's going to erupt into some unspeakable atrocity such as waving his dingdong at an Embassy party & such or slaughtering an Arab boy to see what his beautiful insides look like” and later “his message is all scatological homosexual super-violent madness”. Marvelous.

Click on the letter to read in Kerouac’s own hand or click here to read the transcript at Letters of Note.

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