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Old Angel Midnight

Kerouac, Jack

264 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0912516976 / ISBN 13: 9780912516974
Published by Grey Fox Press, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A., 1993
Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First state with title absent from spine. An experimental prose piece, edited by Donald Allen, and with prefaces by Ann Charters and Michael McClure. Near fine with slight shelfwear to cover. 67 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 6810

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Old Angel Midnight

Publisher: Grey Fox Press, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Soft Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title


Old Angel Midnight (1959) was one result of Kerouac's automatic writing experiments in which he would spill his chemically inspired thoughts onto paper to see what came out. Though Kerouac was initially denounced by literary critics as an oddball, his spontaneous twistings and turnings of language rate well with those of Joyce and Stein, and time has proven him to be an important and enduringly popular American writer.-Library Review


"Kerouac’s ambition to capture the living moment (crucially for him, recapitulating memory) developed poetic form in 1954 with his collection San Francisco Blues, and it reached greater fulfilment with the sixty-seven free-association passages of Old Angel Midnight. This new edition from City Light Books adds one more, found among Kerouac’s papers by John Sampas, concluding 'Eyes of Ray Charles see Me here realize O Holy.' Mostly written during April 1956 when Kerouac shared a shack with Gary Snyder in rural Mill Valley, outside San Francisco, Old Angel Midnight was likely facilitated by the 'letting go' technique he observed from Snyder’s Buddhist meditation. Kerouac described this as 'multilingual sound representing the haddal-da-babra of babbling world tongues coming in through my window.' Onomatopoeic sounds of trees, birds and deer intermingle with childhood flashbacks and in-jokes about his current lovers, friends and rivals. Assonantal and alliterative effects abound: 'perts parts pans pools palls pails parturiences and petty Thieveries that turn into heavenly Buddha.' The stream of mixed-up language is habitually libidinous, peppered by Joycean wordplay ('Taxi crabs & murdercycles'), an orgy of made-up words that culminate in pure sound: 'ampho andiam yerka yama chelmsford alya booneavance koroom cemada versel.”––Jules Smith, The Times Literary Supplement

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