Old Angel Midnight by Jack KerouacOld Angel Midnight by Jack Kerouac

Old Angel Midnight

byJack Kerouac

Paperback | July 22, 2016

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Old Angel Midnight is one of the great delights of the boundless improvisational world. Jack Kerouac's ear is peerless, manifesting structures otherwise impossible. A masterpiece of the mind freed to fly. Read it aloud, for yourself, 'for the sake of reading, and for the sake of the Tongue ... Let's hear the Sound of the Universe, son.'"-Clark CoolidgeOld Angel Midnight is a treasure trove of Kerouac's experiments with automatic writing, a method he practiced constantly to sharpen his imaginative reflexes. Recorded in a series of notebooks between 1956-1959, what Kerouac called his "endless automatic writing piece" began while he shared a cabin with poet Gary Snyder. Kerouac tried to emulate Snyder's daily Buddhist meditation discipline, using the technique of "letting go" to free his mind for pure spontaneous writing, annotating the stream of words flowing through his consciousness in response to auditory stimuli and his own mental images.Kerouac continued his exercise in spontaneous composition over the next three years, including a period spent with William Burroughs in Tangiers. He made no revisions to the automatic writing entries in his notebooks, which were collected and transcribed for publication as originally written.Old Angel Midnight attests to the success of Kerouac's experiment and bears witness to his commitment to his craft, and to the pleasure he takes in writing: "I like the bliss of mind.""Old Angel Midnight is the illuminated notebook, the ur-text, of Kerouac vision/voice/language. The golden rule Catholicism of New England mind in kahoots with free time Godhead consciousness. This is true beat pleasure. This is our music."-Thurston Moore "
A native midwesterner, Michael McClure is associated with the San Francisco renaissance of the mid 1950's, and his work, in the tradition of Blake and Artaud, is prophetic in tone and usually quite experimental on the printed page. His plays, "The Beard" (1965) and "The Tooth of Crime" are underground theater classics. He is part of th...
Title:Old Angel MidnightFormat:PaperbackDimensions:94 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.28 inPublished:July 22, 2016Publisher:City Lights PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:087286703X

ISBN - 13:9780872867031

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Editorial Reviews

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 ofOld 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 Thieveriesthat 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 "