The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artifact #1

The original manuscript for Jack Kerouac's On the Road, hammered out on a roll of teletype paper over an amphetamine-fuelled three week burst in 1951. The novel celebrates 50 years of publication this week. Currently, the manuscript belongs to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who purchased it for $2.4 million in 2001, and will be on display at the New York Public Library (22 blocks north of where it was written) from November to March.


Tom Sutpen said...

I'd leave a more substantial comment on this, but I'm too busy giving you a standing ovation, Monsieur Cooke.


swac said...


Everyone should go put on some Slim Gaillard and get reet.

Vanwall said...

Way to go Stephen! An awesome image. Wish he'd used low-acid paper, but then again teletype was throw-away. Somehow I imagine this discovered by truth-seeking aliens, hidden in a clay jar in a cave in the Adirondacks.

ephemera assemblyman said...

Irk. Too bad I missed this when it was in SF last year. Happy to see that the uncensored -scroll- version has finally been published.

huskermould said...

type-o on the Colts owners name, Jim Irsay

Brian Aldrich said...

Thanks for publishing the photo. You might want to take a look at my 1985 trip to Jack's Lowell at my blog Abstract Concept.
Best, Brian Aldrich

hcbeck said...

Funny, though. Kerouac couldn't get Gaillard but Cassady was nuts about him. I always thought that said a lot about the two.

Here's some trivia: Gaillard was Marvin Gaye's father-in-law. Vootie.