3 pages, 8vo (225 x 150 mm), in blue ink on three-ring notebook paper torn from a guest book (piece chipped from upper corner of first leaf, some other slight chips and nicks, a trifle soiled); signed by both ("allen ginsberg" and "john kerouac") with their addresses and "epitaphs" on verso of second leaf (used as a guest book page and also signed by eight others)." />
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Printed Books including English Caricature & Mod. Lit
17 June 1999
New York, East
KEROUAC, JACK and ALLEN GINSBERG. Autograph manuscript in Kerouac's hand of the jointly composed prose-poem to Hart Crane, "An Essay Concerning the Airy Theory of the Strange Angel, H.C. By Nella Grebsnig and Nhoj Cauorek" (Allen Ginsberg and John Kerouac written backwards), [Brooklyn Heights, November 1949]. 3 pages, 8vo (225 x 150 mm), in blue ink on three-ring notebook paper torn from a guest book (piece chipped from upper corner of first leaf, some other slight chips and nicks, a trifle soiled); signed by both ("Allen Ginsberg" and "John Kerouac") with their addresses and "epitaphs" on verso of second leaf (used as a guest book page and also signed by eight others).
"O HART CRANE, DEAR OTHER US." In an accompanying two-page typed statement George Bouwman recounts his friendship with Kerouac, Ginsberg, and other "Beats" and explains the background of this manuscript: "I met and became acquainted with Jack Kerouac in the fall of 1949 in a writing workshop at The New School...I met Allen Ginsberg through Jack, again at The New School...Sometime in the month of November, 1949...Allen and Jack first visited my wife's and my apartment at 146 Fulton Street in the Brooklyn Heights section of Brooklyn. They were very interested in the idea that Hart Crane lived in that very building [Crane had actually lived at 110 Columbia Heights] when he composed The Bridge and other poems [in the 1920s]...Though it was unplanned, Jack and Allen spent all or most of that night in our apartment. Sometime during the evening that midwestern institution the guest book was brought out and Jack and Allen signed it with "epitaphs" [see guest book page of this manuscript]. My wife and I retired before Jack and Allen did, and I found in the morning that (a) they were gone and (b) they had composed the poem in question in the guest book..."
From the Kerouac-Ginsberg paean to Crane: "Airy graces are in heaven. Strange angels are on earth. Ethereal theories are everywhere. Here where lived the great Crane of Harts, and the Ginsberg of Allens and the Kerouac of Johns, do we indite the aerial areas praising him who hath before us here harkened to the hallelujahs of the harps [referring to the Brooklyn Bridge]...O Hart Crane, dear other us, poor, poor Hart, we have arrived too simply late to talk to thee...Hart's a coral. Hart goes down, Hart comes, Hart arrives Hart-to-Hart where sailors groan and bones come stone [referring to Crane's suicide by drowning]. O fern-entangled Hart, weary jester, we in our jests are but the minnows that do dart between thy courtly temples and salty arches, above which frivolous Sirius chants so serious...Think not no more in clammy loneliness, thy solitary grain no lustre doth enshrine, but just a lamb, just a dove be, sea-like with the Mona Lisa dolphins and the winking whales. In your fish-forest world, the gaping seals look down on dice whose numbers are enchanted sevens shaken like the stars, in clouds old arcanum churches [echoing imagery of Crane's]...We wove you as you wish." Unpublished and a most unusual Kerouac (and Ginsberg) manuscript.
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