Jack Kerouac's copy of the Shorter Novels of Herman Melville; with his ownership signature and notes
Shorter Novels of Herman Melville.
Melville, Herman (Jack Kerouac).$8,800.00
Item Number: 95252
New York: Liveright Publishing Corp, 1942.
Jack Kerouac’s copy of the Black and Gold edition of Melville’s shorter stories with his ownership signature. Octavo, original cloth, gilt titles and elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, silk endleaves. Introduction by Raymond Weaver. In near fine condition. Signed and dated by Kerouac opposite the title page, “John Kerouac 1948.” Kerouac has also marked pages 79, 128, 130, 132, and 133. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptionally rare example not only offering a glimpse into Kerouac’s early literary thinking, but one of the books that influenced his unique style.
Kerouac's close friend and fellow beat generation icon Allen Ginsberg once referred to Kerouac as 'great prose Melville Jack' in addition to likening him to Thomas Wolfe, Milton, and Charlie Parker. Kerouac’s spontaneous literary method borrowed heavily from the structure of improvisational jazz licks. His style came to be characterized by limited revision and short phrases occurring between dashes (as opposed to periods) which took on a certain rhythm much like the rapid tempo of Bebop jazz, a subject Kerouac enjoyed describing in many of his works.