I Am the Revolutionary: Young Jack Kerouac (now on sale)
16 February – Kerouac writes for sports column, “On the Bench” as well as The Horace Mann Record: “Count Basie’s Band Best in the Land …”
15 March – Kerouac writes (with Morton Maxwell) for The Horace Mann Record: “Glen Miller Skipped School to Play Trombone…”
5 April – Kerouac writes “Music Notes” for The Horace Mann Record.
23 May – Kerouac writes (With Albert Avakian) for The Horace Mann Record, “Real Solid Drop-”
June – Kerouac writes “Une Veille de Noel” and a string of stories he describes as his “modernist period.” These pencil-written stories (and poem) evoked, as he later wrote on the manuscript, “a moment of new & ecstatic light, as I remember.” These stories are: “Rasping Smoke in a Dry Throat”; “Go Back”; “Nothing”; “The Dead Wasp”; “Another Short Story”; “A Play I Want To Write”; “Disgusted At Nothing”; “Concentration”; untitled poem; “Short Story”; “Words”; and “We Thronged.”
18 June – Columbia University sends a form letter to Kerouac advising him of his dorm room assignment for the period of 16 September 1940 through 6 June 1941.
8 August – Neal Cassady is placed at the Mullen Home for Boys.
September – Kerouac arrives for fall semester of Columbia University.
12 October – Writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas from New Brunswick, New Jersey apologizing for his belated reply. He also shares that he is reading William Saroyan.
late October-Early November – Kerouac reads Thomas Wolfe’s post-humuous novel, You Can’t Go Home Again (1940).
3 November – Kerouac sits alone in West End Cafeteria at Broadway, Columbia University campus. He writes observing some “young people” and unwinds thoughts that “Man is essentially an ANIMAL.”
12 November – Kerouac writes a diary he titles “The Journal of an Egotist,” “Dealing with My Activities And Thoughts During My First Year at Columbia University.” His “introduction” addresses an imaginary reader, providing a self-description of his years thus far.
24 November – Kerouac continues writing his “introduction” to The Journal of an Egotist after he feels that he has succeeded in fighting his “inner battle” and that he is “ready to write.” He plans this diary to be more introspective as well as detailing his college life and “all the components which make up college life, viz. thoughts, troubles, loves, studies, desires, chagrins, disappointments, fears, etc. Whether it is or not makes little difference.” Later, he stakes his hopes, “I wish to be a novelist, playwright, short story writer…in short, a Journalist man of letters.”
27 November – Kerouac continues writing in The Journal of an Egotist describing memories of a Lowell boyhood friend, Scotty Beaulieu.
December – Kerouac types nine pages of “The Story of a Touchdown” which he plans to send to Esquire magazine.
8 December – Kerouac types “Note Dec. 8, 1940: “Upon the next page of this journal may be found a story that I wrote this evening, originally intended it for a fellow in High School.”
9 December – Writes close to midnight of a new “love” he has for a sixteen year old Russian girl he has met and how he achieved alcohol intoxication over his lovelorn state. Through this, Kerouac achieves a feeling of emptiness.
10 December – Kerouac fairs poorly in class after a night of drinking and avoiding his required reading of Lucretius. The entries begin to reflect Kerouac’s irresponsibilities toward his academic work and his desire to do what he wants instead.
13 December – Kerouac writes “Fond Hopes” for Columbia Spectator sports column, “On the Sidelines”.
31 December – Neal Cassady runs away from the Mullen Home for Boys. Though initially he isn’t found, he is later discovered at his home.
6 February – Leo Kerouac writes Jack expressing his disappointment of the lack of employment prospects in New York City despite him being a “union man.” He also reminds Jack of Frank Leahy’s interest in him as a Boston College prospect, “But as far as I am concerned if you can make your way in N. Y. stay there and build for the future without too much concern about us. We’re in for Lowell whether we like it or not – and it would only be a lucky stroke if we ever could break away. It’s life! You work hard, keep and make good friends – they’ll help where we fail.”
14 February – Kerouac writes a term paper about Dante’s Divine Comedy. He titles his 6-page paper, “Dante and Virgil.”
26 February – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas from New York City asking him to write more postcards in return.
28 February – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas: “Sebastian I’d like to have you drop me a card like this daily, and I’ll do that same—of course, still continuing out regular documents. Good idea? Fouch and I are going to do it also. This is to inform you of my suggestion. The second card is my first official Daily Chat. Jean, BARON DA BRETAGNE
5 March – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas – “Sebastian—Don’t tell Fouch Very sorry about the delay—unavoidable—typewriter broke down—helpless without it. Anyhow, I have something better than a letter for you—I hope you’ll be pleased to know that I’m hitch-hiking home Thursday (6th), casually and poetically. I will stay till Sunday or Monday. So that we can get together and discuss over a banana split at Marron’s, I am bringing a one- act play I wrote this morning at 3 A.M. ZAGG”
6 March – Kerouac hitchhikes to Lowell, Massachusetts from New York City.
18 March – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas. He praises Sampas for reading Jan Valtin so that it can inspire wanderlust. he discusses future travels together on several dates in as many locations.
23 March – Kerouac types a play titled “There’s Something About a Cigar”: “A little play in several acts and scenes” with characters “Nick, Young Fellow, Walter, Paul,” and “Sebastian.”
24 March – Kerouac attends a showing of the film, The Philadelphia Story starring Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart.
25 March – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas to which he shares that after exiting from a theatre showing The Philadelphia Story, he hears the song, “I’ll See You Again” broadcasted from a penny arcade and is affected by it to tears.
14 April – Kerouac spends the day with George J. Apostolos visiting from Lowell.
15 April – Kerouac spends the afternoon reading William Saroyan’s 3 Times 3 by the Hudson River. He later writes Sebastian Sampas sharing his thoughts on this text.
25 April – Kerouac writes in his notebook some thoughts on beauty as well as commentary on Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel and James Joyce’s Ulysses.
5 May – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas apologizing that he had let him down during his last visit to New York.
20 May – Kerouac writes a drunken letter to Sebastian Sampas from a New York nickelodeon. He makes plans to work on a work he titles “Oktober” in order to send it to actor/director Orson Welles. He notes the people around him on a train and documents his impressions to Sampas. Kerouac yearns to return to Lowell and that he wishes his family would move back there. He makes plans to travel to the south and find a job in Thomas Wolfe’s hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.
31 May – Kerouac hitchhikes to Lowell, Massachusetts from New York City.
1 June – Kerouac arrives in Lowell, Massachusetts at 4 a.m. after hitchhiking from New York City. He begins new diary which he notes (at a later date) that it is a “monument, a rather horrendous monument, to a fool…” He spends part of the day with an old boyhood pal, Mike Fournier.
3 June -Kerouac studies Chemistry at home to prepare for a make-up test he needs to take in order to return to Columbia’s fall semester. Kerouac also reads “half” of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”
4 June – Kerouac reads the remainder of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and concludes that “his philosophy of individualism cannot be beat.” That night Kerouac tastes of “Venus” on a wooden floor but is unable to “culminate.” He reads that night news columnist George Clarke’s column, “Man About Boston.”
5 June – After missing a meeting with George Apostolos, Kerouac instead goes to the Lowell City Library from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. He reads Irish dramatist Sean O’Casey, a biography of Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw, Thomas Wolfe and the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. He vows to continue an in-depth reading of the Old Testament, particularly the books of Genesis, Job, Ecclesiastics, and Exodus. That night he attends a repeat viewing of The Philadelphia Story (1940) with Scotty Beaulieu and Sebastian Sampas. Later he spends the late night reading Sean O’Casey and Thomas Wolfe’s posthumous novel, The Web and the Rock (1939) until well past midnight.
6 June – Reads in the early morning hours works by Sean O’Casey and Thomas Wolfe’s posthumuous novel, The Web and the Rock (1939). That afternoon, he attends a screening of Wuthering Heights (1939) (starring Laurence Olivier) with George Apostolos. Later, Kerouac, Apostolos and Scotty Beaulieu go to Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire. Later that night he reads for an hour before falling asleep.
7 June – Kerouac goes on a date with a girl he met in May 1941. They go to an ice cream stand called Glennie’s located on the Pawtucket Boulevard that borders parallel with the Merrimack River.
8 June – Goes swimming at Pine Brook with George J. Apostolos and Roland “Salvey” Salvas. He feels exceptionally sensate to his surroundings: “Every day, especially today, I see and feel a million things about which I could write thousands and thousands of words. Things come up at me and strike me – lights, colors, symphonies of sounds, dramatic movements, smells, poetic moments, Life.”
9 June – Starts a novel with a description of the local riverbank dump, frolics with George Apostolos and Scotty Beaulieu, sees a movie and reads Thomas Wolfe’s posthumous novel, The Web and the Rock (1939). He struggles with a cold and drinks wine to combat the effects of it. He eventually drinks too much wine and feels sick.
10 June – Kerouac wakes at noon, read’s Thomas Wolfe and eats two large hamburgers dripping with butter which makes him feel sick. After dinner, he goes to see about a job from a Lowell District Court, Judge Eno who is the father of his boyhood chum, Arthur Eno. However, he is unavailable. Still reeling from his sickness, Kerouac goes to bed.
11 June – Kerouac writes letters to two New York friends, “Furey” and “Dick” and later sees a movie. He is still unable to find Judge Eno who can connect him with a summer job.
12 June – Kerouac attends a show starring Bob Hope. He finally reaches Judge Eno who has agreed to meet the next day.
13 June – Kerouac meets with Judge Eno who may arrange an outdoor construction job. Kerouac plays baseball with his friends and enjoys a night of beer, hamburgers and banana splits.
14 June – Kerouac plans to begin writing his novel anew, a task he finds easy to write though difficult to organize. He writes a rough draft of the initial chapters before being afflicted by malaise.
15 June – Naively, Kerouac hopes for war to break out soon so as to bring about an air of “adventure” and “prophecy of romance.” He reads Thomas Wolfe and the New York Times whilst listening to the music of Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner.
16 June – Kerouac reports for a construction job with the possibility of starting on 18 June. The job, if he gets it, will pay $17.60 a week digging ditches at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That night he is affected by a quote from Thomas Wolfe: “To feel deeply and wordlessly the tragic underweft of life.”
17 June – Kerouac meets an older white-bearded poet at the Lowell City Library whom works for the Works Progress Administration. The poet declares, “I am going to start digging ditches – and yet I am a poet, a singer, a writer of songs.” Spends the day in a park with George Apostolos and Sebastian Sampas.
18 June – Kerouac states that he has yet to start his book in earnest and has neglected his “women.” He attends a screening of a movie and has a long chat with his father who has been traveling to Worcester, Massachusetts for work. They plan on working on a “musical comedy book” to “submit for Columbia’s Varsity Show next year.
19 June – Kerouac reports to his job “at my leisure” working for a ditch crew. His body continues tan with the outdoor work. Kerouac leaves off that “suddenly we had to leave Lowell, and that was the beginning …”
22 July – Kerouac writes in his notebook that “art is a readjustment of perception.”
14 August – Kerouac handwrites a story: “Time: 2.30am. Date. August 14, 1941. Place: Bedroom of home on Gershom Avenue in Lowell, Mass.”: “Listen to the song of the trees . . . ”
Late summer – Kerouac writes his sister, Caroline to tell her that “the place Pop had picked was a hole,” in matters pertaining to Jack and Gabrielle’s relocation from Massachusetts to southern Connecticut.
15 September – Allen Ginsberg is exposed to poet Walt Whitman from his teacher, Francis Durbin after he is switched to Paterson, New Jersey’s East Side High School from Central High School.
29 September – Kerouac mails a spirited postcard to Sebastian Sampas: “Oktober is Coming! Ancestral Oktober–ancient red-sunsetted, copper-skied, leaf-driven Oktober is coming, coming….”
1 October – George J. Apostolos writes Kerouac. He expresses the influence of Thomas Wolfe on not only his writing, but his life (“God knows Jack, that after finishing Wolfe, I don’t want to stay on in school. I don’t know, but it seemed to me that he had contempt for anything and everything that was conventional, and polite, and that is just what that school is. I feel like a great big sissy when I’m in there.” He apprises him of his sexual escaoades in Lowell as well as the latest goings-on about town with their mutual friends.
8 October – Kerouac writes a postcard to Sebastian Sampas: “(Deeply grateful for your letters….) Sam—Got following writers from Hartford library—Wolfe, Saroyan, Halper, Dos Passos, William James (Psychology.) What men! And Wolfe the Giant—you must read “Of Time and the River”—all about Boston—Public Lib., Esplanade, Docks, etc., May go to Indiana soon to settle with Notre Dame. If so, will take a room in Chicago hotel and write “Young Writer Remembering New York.” Am going to perfect “Oktober” and send it to Orson Welles. “FSSFMT: still at Harper’s…..Jean (YOUR LETTER SWELL)
13 October – Kerouac typewrites a draft of prose: “Here I am at last with a typewriter, a little more the hungrier…” He also writes thoughts on preparing to write about “America’s awful sickness.”
Undated – Kerouac writes to Sebastian Sampas sharing the news that he will be hitchhiking to Hartford, Connecticut to see Mike Fournier about a job. He is also going to West Haven, Connecticut to see about a clerical job. Kerouac includes a short story, “Conversation on a Street Corner” featuring an altercation between a Jew and a Nazi.
Undated – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas on a northbound train from West Haven to Hartford, Connecticut where he will be living for a short while. He includes a draft of “Farewell Song, Sweet From My Trees.”
28 October – George J. Apostolos writes Kerouac sharing his attempted sexual conquest with a recently-separated married woman who refuses him lest he think that she were “cheap.”
9 November – Kerouac writes to his mother that he is now living in Hartford, Connecticut. He has a rented Underwood typewriter and begins “To write what is Hartford!” He continues later, “I shall be the best writer in the world …”
11 November – Kerouac types a description of his room in Hartford, Connecticut as well as describing his meagre possessions and the city outside his window. He titles it “Howdy”: “This is Jack Kerouac, speaking to you.”
12 November – Kerouac’s last day with a rented Underwood typewriter, he types up prose titled “Today”: You see, first I go hungry, and I am writing this at nine o’clock in the evening without having had any supper except some old bread and cheese. Secondly, I have no cigarettes, and my lungs are crying for the strong body of smoke. (Will one or two of you readers slip me a spare butt on the sly?) Thirdly, they’re going to take away the typewriter, and then I will be left alone in this room with nothing. You see, my heart resides in a typewriter, and I don’t have my heart unless there’s a typewriter somewhere nearby, with a chair in front of it and some blank sheets of paper.”
17 November – Kerouac types a prose piece titled “Lowell” in Hartford, CT. [5.49]
21 November – Kerouac types a small prose piece titled “Today” in Hartford, Connecticut. In it he bemoans the last day with his typewriter, that he has no money and plans made to go to California. [5.36]
26 November – Kerouac writes in his journal.
1 December – Allen Ginsberg, at fifteen years old, is dragged by his mentally-ill mother throughout rural New Jersey in search of a rest home she could live in. Later, Allen is retrieved by his father, Louis Ginsberg, the following day.
2 December – Allen Ginsberg is retrieved by Louis Ginsberg from Naomi’s possession in her desperate attempt to break with her husband.
5 December – Kerouac types a short story titled “The Wastrel.” He notes on the back of the page, “I must manage this style more – it is good narrative style. I think it is influenced by translated Dostoevsky prose.” [7.5]
7 December – The empire of Japan strikes the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii initiating the United State’s entry into World War II.
December – In response to the attack of Japan on the United States, Kerouac handwrites a story set in a New England mill town with French-Canadian dialogue. He titles it “Search By Night.”
19 December – Neal Cassady charged with speeding and misuse of a driver’s license in Denver, Colorado. The charges are later dismissed.
4 January – Out of school for the interim, Kerouac begins his personal studies by delving into H.G. Wells The Outline of History (1920) among other texts while living in Lowell, Massachusetts. He makes note on the extreme financial duress of his parents at home and that he would be forced to “make a drastic move quite soon.” He feels that he is a “burden on his family” and ponders going away to find a job in New York City instead of staying in Lowell where he is unable to find work.
7 January – Kerouac finds a job at the Lowell Sun newspaper as a sports reporter.
14 January – Kerouac writes “Self-Analysis–of–a–youth” in his notebook.
19 February – Kerouac writes a column (by-lined as “Jack Korouac”), “Lowell States Second Half Rally to Beat Lawrence in Hoop Series Opener.”
2 March – Kerouac writes a by-lined sports article for the Lowell Sun and Lowell Citizen-Leader: “Lawrence Takes Dual Meet Honors Over Lowell Meet.”
7 March – Kerouac writes a by-lined sports article for the Lowell Sun and Lowell Ciitzen-Leader: “Beverly Knock Lowell Out of Tourney.”
8 March – Neal Cassady is charged with home invasion and auto theft in Denver, Colorado.
9 March – Kerouac writes a by-lined sports article, “Camp Edwards, Becker Col. Luenburg, Lynn Civic Club Survive First Round.”
22 March – Kerouac confides to his journal that he had quit the Lowell Sun the previous week “in order to get away from the pettiness & trivia of the job & the people who worked with me. They were a disgusting lot —except for two or three—vain, self-centered, immensely wise + satirical, (!) and above all, utterly unimportant and as sterile as dust… I left + decided to spend all of my time studying, which I’ve been doing consistently…” He then writes an essay on “conviction.”
29 March – Kerouac writes at 3.a.m. into his notebook: “It’s not the fact that counts, but the impression of the fact . . . ” He goes on to remark on “high wisdom” using Henry David Thoreau and a “colored Blues saxophone player in a smoke Harlem cell” as examples.
9 March – Kerouac writes a by-lined sports article for the Lowell Sun and Lowell Citizen-Leader: “Camp Edward, Becker Col. Lunenburg Lynn Civic Club Survive First Round.”
26 April – Leo Kerouac signs an act of commitment to the US Army.
26 May – Kerouac types an 18-page short story, “Famine for the Heart.”
2 June – Kerouac writes in his notebook: On the morning of June 2, 1942, there came to me, in an enormous wave of absolute certainty, all the fulfillment of the Earth, Mankind, & Myself—and tho I now attempt to set it forth, as not to forget it, I am equally certain that the thing cannot completely be inferred in words—only in the bounteous.”
19 June – Kerouac types a six-page story of 3500 words set in New York City, “King Mazuma”
23 June – Kerouac types a three-page article titled “Defending the Misunderstood Lew Ayres.”
6 July – Leo Kerouac writes Jack telling him that he is aware of his intention to join Merchant Marines: “Dangerous, yes, but a real job for a real man. Take up the dare boy, and live it out. There will be far, far more who will return than won’t come back. You’re strong, alert, resourceful, and you should be very able to take care of yourself. Far more than the average, of course, my heart is heavy. I feel that all your mistakes have a purpose an end to something which will give you a glorious life when I shall be gone and forgotten.”
18 July – Kerouac spends his first day aboard the S.S Dorchester, an Oil burning transport merchant vessel. He spends the night in the port of Boston and eats onboard the vessel five lambchops and a quart of milk. He sleeps until 10:00 pm and, when he wakes, goes to Dorchester’s deck and ponders how he will document this journey into a journal. He reads David Hume before turning into his bunk at midnight.
19 July – Spends the day on Dorchester and by night, carouses Scollay Square withshipmate Bob Eatherton. The night climaxes with property damage and hiding from guards armed with spotlights.
20 July – Rises at dawn to work in Dorchester’s galley as a “scullion” washing pots, pans and dishes. His evening is spent on the deck enjoying Boston Harbor’s cool breeze blowing inshore. He worries for his mother who in turn worries about his enlistment in the Merchant Marines because of the dangerous wartime conditions. Nonetheless, Kerouac is eager to “study more of the earth, not out of books, but from direct experience.”
21 July – The Dorchester crew signs the War Articles and sign up for War Risk Insurance. Kerouac names his mother as his beneficiary and is paid $11.00. He goes onshore to buy tan trousers and an oiler’s cap. He returns to Boston’s South End, gets drunk and passes out in a restaurant toilet.
22 July – Kerouac is anxious to leave for sea, grows bored of being on board and considers signing off.
23 July – Kerouac works in Dorchester’s galley. A tattooed seaman named “Shorty” warns the crew that “they” meaning the German U-boats, will “catch up” with them this trip out. That night the wharf is heavily guarded as longshoremen load Dorchester with lumber. Kerouac hears that the ship will be heading to Eastern Greenland where the longshoremen will build a new base for the war effort. Dorchester’s sister ship, S.S. Chatham, docks alongside to accompany Dorchester on the voyage. Dorchester is ready to depart Boston Harbor.
24 July – Dorchester pulls anchor and leaves Boston. They and S.S. Chatham are escorted by a navy destroyer and a light cruiser as protection. During the evening, the crew enjoy “tremendous” card and crap games. Kerouac observes them as “characters” and absorbs the actual experience he has been looking for. By night he reads H.G. Wells and finally sleeps after a long, tiring day of work.
25 July – Dorchester is parallel to the coast of Maine. A heavy fog bank surrounds the ship. Though Kerouac tries to bond with the crew, he still feels “misunderstood.”
26 July – Dorchester passes the coastline of Nova Scotia and through Cabob Strait between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It is, Kerouac feels, the “most dangerous phase of our journey” as they sail toward the mouth of the St. Lawrence River where “many sinkings have occurred of late.” Kerouac feels “dim acceptance” as the rest of the crew play cards oblivious to the tenuous grip of life and death they actually have. Kerouac, however, is haunted by death and alludes to this effect in a passage lifted and utilized in the published version of Vanity of Duluoz: “As I was writing just now, I heard a hissing outside my porthole (the sea is heavy, the ship rocks deeply) – and I thought it was a torpedo. I waited for one long second. Death! Death! I tell you, it is not hard to face. I am patient – I shall now turn over to sleep. And the sea washes on, immense, endless, everlasting, my sweet brother and sentencer. In the moonlight tonight, in these dangerous waters, one can see the two Navy ships that are convoying us – two tawny seacats, alert and lowslung.” It is also the first point where he refers in his journal to the sea as his “brother,” a concept he will ultimately realize by the following year when he develops a novel to be titled The Sea Is My Brother, posthumously published in 2011.
27 July – Kerouac’s loneliness for home and school continues to grow. In his journal he continues to develop members of the crew as “characters” he can observe. He calculates his earnings and how he will spend them once he returns home.
28 July – Kerouac’s weariness grows. He befriends a black homosexual preacher that gifts his leather jacket to Kerouac.
29 July – Kerouac wakes up the sounds of Glory, the second cook who is singing in the ship’s galley. The ship is surrounded by heavy fog.
30 July – The navy escort ships have left and are replaced by two “heavily-armed trawlers.” Kerouac sees nothing in the fog but that of the beam of a yellow signal light of the new convoy ship which Kerouac romanticizes as the “symbols of Man’s language” and “the thought of language, here in the bosom of the tongueless sea.”
31 July – By morning, the ship is in a fjord of Greenland where they cruise past an Inuit settlement. Kerouac is angered and embarassed for his crew whom pelt the native Inuits with oranges. Alternately, he is awed and mystified by the natural sapectacle of the country’s shore. Dorchester anchors one half mile from the base (along with the Chatham) at Blue East 1. Kerouac writes a letter to his mother.
1 August – Kerouac continues to be awed by the natural scenery of Greenland’s shore and conjures allusions to Coleridge, Thoreau, Wolfe, Homer, and Virgil.
2 August – Kerouac is transferred to night work in the galley. He feels thankful for the change because he is allowed to be alone in his thoughts as he conducts himself through the menial tasks of galley work. He attempts “character studies” on the crew in his journal.
3 August – Kerouac wakes up late and spends the brunt of his free time reading from a “little series” of .75 cent books he bought in Lowell. Neal Cassady is released by a Sergeant Coo into the safekeeping of Justin Brierly after he was arrested for auto theft in Denver, Colorado.
4 August – More reading and lounging on deck and observes a weird sea animal swimming through the clear waters.
5 August – As the ship sits at anchor in the Greenlandic cove, a thick fog surrounds them. Kerouac empathizes with an old butcher nicknamed “Old Butch” that starts a “religious argument” in the mess hall. He brings up the radical theological views of Baruch Spinoza and the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin. The rest of the crew guffaws him, threatening in jest to throw him overboard because they feel he is an “atheist.” Kerouac, however, thinks Old Butch is a “great man” and plans to make his acquaintance soon.
6 August – Kerouac reads Harper’s magazine’s serial articles written by John Dos Passos and E.B. White. He also reads from Thoreau’s “Solitude” section of Walden.
7-9 August – Kerouac’s mood for writing subsides over three days, he is “sick of language.” Dorchester remains in the Greenland cove.
10 August – Dorchester pulls anchor and leaves the cove while Kerouac sleeps. He starts to be wearied by the night routine and wishes he had sa typewriter to “bat out” all he wants to say about the ship and some ideas for stories he has in mind.
11 August – Dorchester docks at the first fjord they stopped at on July 31. The ship takes on supplies to return to sea.
12 August – Kerouac writes letters to the draft board, and George Apostolos. He concludes: “Reason cannot be the criteria for men, for it so far fails to transcend the strong human bonds that lie corded in lasting strength in the souls of all men.” He also reconsiders his father’s “accusations” about his son squandering his life and opportunities, specifically on wanting to be a writer.
13-14 August – Dorchester pulls anchor and sails to the open sea to follow the Greenland coast northward.
15 August – The ship experiences heavy weather as it sails north. Kerouac experiences a bout of seasickness. Despite his illness, he enjoys manning watch outdoors and retires to his bunk after stripping his soaking wet clothes.
16 August – Kerouac endures conflict with the second cook after requesting to switch jobs with a Puerto Rican baker’s assistant, to which he refused.
17 August – As Kerouac is prepared to take up his grievances with the Chief Steward at dawn (he was sleeping), he sees that Dorchester is approaching land once again. The workers are assembled on the deck anxious to begin their work at Bluey Two base. Kerouac, standing on the ship’s foc’sle thinks up a new short story he titles “A Grim, Dreary Night for Fratricide” which he plans to type as soon as he returns home. Later he sees the Chief Steward who listens but does nothing to help resolve Kerouac’s cause: “I retired silently, losing all respect for him as a member of mankind.” Kerouac sees Inuit people flitting by the ship in little kayaks. Kerouac observes one child with his father and older brother, whom he compares to a child playing with a toy boat on the Merrimack River in Lowell.
18 August – The crew swaps various personal articles with the Inuits in their kayaks. Some resort to trading government property for furs which elicits a ban on trades by the ship captain. Kerouac trades his Horace Mann football jersey for a harpoon. Later, in the ship’s galley, Kerouac listens to an Army Gun Crew Staff Sergeant telling stories in “flawless English” about Paris, among other things. His narrative engages Kerouac who wishes for a typewriter to write a novel he has in mind. He titles it “Johnny Dreamer,” a saga of an irresponsible, casual, unconscious poet who roams America, doing crazy things and looking for good people,” and “Vagabonding across the 48 states. Could develop that into something someday.”
19 August – Kerouac earns a “sea bonus” which he immediately knows he can buy his mother a fur coat, a zoot suit for himself and a season ticket to Broadway. He acknowledges that his return trip home will be a dangerous one. After finishing his work, he sleeps until two o’clock. When he wakes, he learns that the crew are allowed to go on shore. He and another shipmate, Duke Ford, decide to climb a nearby mountain. Upon their return, the pair are docked some pay for their absence. He later writes a long poem titled “Sing With Me, Sweet Brothers!”
September – Burroughs moves to the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. There he thrives in the criminal element present at that location. He first finds a job as undercover security monitoring store employees from stealing store merchandise. Afterwards he lands a job as an exterminator at A.J. Cohen Exterminators where he would stay for the next eight months.
23 September – The city clerk of Lowell City House provides a copy of Kerouac’s birth certificate for his upcoming application to naval reserve.
Autumn – In Chicago, Burroughs meets Lucien Carr through his old St. Louis friend, David Kammerer.
October – Kerouac is introduced to a girlfriend of Henri Cru’s, Edie Parker.
4 October – Neal Cassady is charged with suspected robbery in Los Angeles, California.
19 October – Joseph G. Pyne, Master of Lowell High School, writes a favorable letter of reference for Jack Kerouac
20 October – Kerouac types a 1-page story, “Joe Doakes” for his Advanced Composition course and receives a grade of “B.”
21 October – Kerouac types a college essay titled “Contrasting the Parthenon and the Sub-Treasury” for his Humanities B1 – Fine Arts class. He is graded a “C.”
22 October – Kerouac types a college paper on T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” for his Advanced Composition course. He received a grade of “B.”
25 October – Allen Ginsberg enlists as an errand-boy for labor leader and congressional candidate, Irving Abramson.
3 November – Kerouac writes at 2:00 a.m. at the West End Cafeteria on the Columbia University campus: “Man is essentially an ANIMAL.” He proceeds to deconstruct the mortality of man slanted through the lens of Aristotle.
5 November – Leo Kerouac writes Jack. He acknowledges that Jack has left the team at Columbia and his apprehensions about Coach Lou Little: “I wish the day would come when you could show Old Shit-Face that you’re a better man than he is. Woops!” He derides William Saroyan and compares him to Lowell Sun’s Sampascoopies “in his serious moments.” He favors French literature. Edward J. Grant, Registrar of Columbia University, writes a letter of certification for the Naval Board that Jack Kerouac “is a regularly enrolled sophomore student in good standing at Columbia College, and is pursuing courses leading to the conferment of the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Major – Liberal Arts.” Gabrielle Kerouac signs a letter of consent for Jack Kerouac to join the Naval Reserve because he is under the legal age of consent of twenty-one years old.
6 November – Eugene Jay Scheffer, French Instructor for Columbia University, writes a favorable letter of reference for Jack Kerouac.
11 November – Kerouac fills out an application for enlistment in V-1 Naval Reserve, giving for his reason: “To enlist.” Charles C. Tillinghast, principal of Horace Mann School for Boys, writes a favorable letter of reference for Jack Kerouac.
17 November – Kerouac attends a physical exam for the Naval Reserve and passes. He types a college paper titled “Cinema and the stage. For Advanced Composition.” He receives a “B-” for his effort.
19 November – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas telling him that his money is running low and his family is in financial straits. He has decided that he wants to give up any plans for the Naval Reserve and th prospects of being a naval officer and instead ship out as an ordinary seaman in the Merchant Marine. He is also through with life in Columbia, being “more interested in the pith of our great times than in dissecting Romeo and Juliet.” He pleads with Sebastian to join the Merchant Marine with him.
1 December – Gabrielle Kerouac signs a letter of testimony that her son is the “same person indicated on the attached certificate of birth due to the “fact that Jean is French for JOHN.”
5 December – Kerouac writes a short story titled “The Wastrel” featuring the character of “Duluoz” who realizes “the complete dissolution and waste of his life in the weeks following his return from a grim bout with discipline at sea.” In a frenzy of guilt and recklessness, he endures a drinking binge and deserts an “old comrade” in favor of a hideous whore.
8 December – Kerouac’s application is accepted for enlistment in United States Naval Reserve, V-1: “You have this date been enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Class V-1, Accredited College Program, and released to inactive duty. You will therefore proceed to your home and resume schooling.” & “You will at all times keep the Office of Naval officer Procurement, 33 Pine Street, New York, N.Y., informed of your address; answer all letters addressed to you by proper authority; and inform this office of any change in your health which might prevent active service.” Kerouac’s current address is given as 125 Crawford Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. Kerouac signs his orders obligating him to four years of service. He also signs an affidavit that he is not drawing a pension from the United States Government
31 December – Kerouac writes an essay on Goethe and Faust titled “The New Romanticism.”
26 January – Kerouac types prose that begins “One night, returning from work in the casual, squalid atmosphere of the railroad yards, warehouses, switch- towers, garages . . .”
28 January – Kerouac types a 2-page story titled “The Mystery … by Jack Kerouac.”
1 February – Kerouac applies for transfer to V5 status with Naval Reserve.
5 February – Writes a 3-page revised typescript of “Doctor Sax by Jack Kerouac (from “The Private Papers of Kerouac.”) Signed “Adolphus Asher Ghoulens / 3 a.m. / February 5, 1943.” This section will eventually be incorporated into the published novel, Doctor Sax (1959).
February: Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas after arriving home from his job parking cars at the Hotel Garage on Middlesex Street, Lowell, Massachusetts at 2 A.M. and using his typewriter for the first time in a week. He undertakes the remainder of th eletter in stream-of-consciousness “for the Sake of Informality.” Kerouac is alarmed that Sebastian was suffering from haemophelia when he woke in his bed and was bleeding from his jaw, a factor that may have contirbuted to his death at Anzio.
15 February – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas in receipt of his “stirring recording” he heard his mother playing as he was waking. Sampas was quoting from Thomas Wolfe: “My mother was weeping, Sam. When you quoted Wolfe, she thought you were sounding your own death-knell; she said “The poor little kid..oh! this is an awful war.” And she wept for you. I hope this will convince you that my mother is essentially a great woman, and that whatever rancor she may have held against you was not rancor, but something reflected from my father’s profound theories on Sebastian Sampas.” Kerouac writes a note titled “Brother” to which he explains that the writing of his new sea-based novel will require “exceeding craft.” He theorizes that the ongoing war has created a new demand on modern novelists, and that is a correlation between the war on Fascism and democracy. His last notes state: “The writing of this little novel will require exceeding craft. I believe this to be true because modern taste in this war year of 1943 demands but one thing from its novelists – correlation of democracy and the war against Fascism, timely and pro-democratic issues dealing with change (change as symbolized by the foundation of the United Nations), and above all, the extension, improvisation, and rationalization of the modern spirit. Kerouac decides to “write in complete sincerity and trust in my own knowledge of life.”
16 February – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas: “Stop chanting “you never write!” I don’t write as often as you do, but I write enormous documents and (2) I have to go to work every day, a ten-hour job, and there is no typewriter there. I write as much as I can, but when I have nothing to say, I don’t write. What is there to say? Right now, covered with the red fever of a Lloyd McHarg, wearing black spectacles, I look like the original Pessimist, Cynic, and sardonic Mystic himself. I have to report for Pre-Flight examination in two days, but I think I shan’t be well by then, and will have to call them and arrange for a later appointment. All the same to me, I am not anxious to fight for freedom, I should rather enjoy it.”
Spring – Lucien Carr puts his head inside an oven for reasons unknown. He ends up in Cook County Hospital. After he is discharged, he and Ksmmerer decide to move to New York City. Burroughs follows them.
March – Kerouac begins to write Merchant Mariner, an 158-page handwritten novel.
21 March – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas from his home on Crawford Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. He is up early in the morning and will soon go to church. The rest of his family are away and he feels deeply alone: “I was alone. I don’t know why, Sam, but tell me: why did I begin to weep? I tell you I wept…my throat constricted, I sobbed, and tears went down my cheeks. I think it was the loneliness and the thought of humanity. I tell you, I had such a vision of humanity tonight, such a clear, powerful vision (tied up with me, my loved ones, and the human race), such a vision, I tell you, as I’d never expected to see, that it broke my heart and I cried.”
22 March – Kerouac reports for duty from Lowell to Newport, Rhode Island.
2 April – Kerouac admitted to sick list at boot camp training. He is transferred to U.S. Naval Hospital for medical examination.
7 April – Kerouac writes George J. Apostolos.
22 April – Kerouac receives a 5-page “love letter” from “Doris.”
2 May – Neal Cassady is arrested for “joyriding.”
3 May – Leo Kerouac writes Jack about his dissatisfaction over his current work and upcoming vacation time he will spend in New York City. He also asks for more details about Jack’s prognosis in naval hospital: “I wonder just why you were put in this way. Did you have trouble, or did you talk too much? I haven’t asked because I felt you wouldn’t tell me anyway. But I’m afraid you’ll be watched from now on and frankly I’m afraid they might frame you. You know these suck-asses from Washington, they’re always looking for publicity, and can cook up some funny dishes when they’ve mind to.”
May – Kerouac writes Cornelius “Connie” Murphy detailing the psychological evaluation he was given and why he was there: “In the first place, Connie, it was clearly and simply a matter of maladjustment with military life. On this, the psychiatrist and I seemed to be agreed upon in silence. I believe that if his queries had ended at that point, my diagnosis would have been psychoneurosis – a convenient conclusion which could have explained any number of idiosyncrasies in a protean personality. I was aware that he had reached this conclusion, and since reading the masterpiece by Conrad Tully, I can easily see on what grounds.”
11 May – Kerouac is diagnosed with Dementia Praecox by naval psychiatrists.
13 May – Leo Kerouac writes Jack that he is looking for work and his disappointment over moving to New York City and Gabrielle’s current work conditions: “Anyway, let me tell you that it won’t go on. I certainly won’t let your Mother be a slavey for Pete or anybody like him. I’ll find a way out, BUT, THIS IS THE LAST TIME. If you people don’t buckle down, and stop dreaming, and go about the business of life as it should, I warn you that I will wash my hands DRY of ALL of you.”
14 May – Allen Ginsberg is accepted at Columbia College in New York.
18 May – Kerouac is transferred to National Naval Medical Center (Bethesda, Maryland)
25 May – Neal Cassady is charged with grand theft auto.
26 May – Kerouac writes Sebastian Sampas.
June – Kerouac handwrites “My Generation, My World”: “Scene on a train: “‘My generation,’ he whispered, ‘is making the sacrifice.'”
2 June – J.J. Head, Senior Member of the Board of Medical Survey, signs a letter: “In accordance with paragraph 3423, Manual of the Medical Department, U.S. Navy, you, John Louis Kerouac, Apprentice Seaman, U.S. Naval Reserve, are informed that a Board of Medical Survey has found your present disability, Constitutional Psychopathic State, Schizoid Personality, #1543, to have existed prior to your reporting for active duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve, and was not aggravated by service conditions.” Kerouac signs the letter to concur with their findings.
18 June – Neal Cassady is sent to Forestry Camp, No. 3.
23 June – Allen Ginsberg graduates from Paterson, New Jersey’s East Side High School.
25 June – Kerouac writes a typescript titled “The Wound of Living” from the Washington D.C. Naval Hospital: “Living necessarily presupposes and promises hurt, degeneration, and death. Living is death . . .” He also includes his thoughts on being a New Englander.
28 June – Kerouac is honorably discharged (under Medical Conditions).
1 July – Allen Ginsberg begins classes at Columbia University in New York City. His intention is to obtain a law degree in order to become a labor lawyer.
2 July – Neal Cassady serves jail sentence and is sent to a juvenile forestry camp for six months.
6 July – Kerouac writes “Notes on ‘The Sea is my Brother’ aboard the S.S. George B. Weems (also dated July 25, 1943).
12 July – The whereabouts of Neal Cassady are unknown.
14 July – Kerouac types one-page draft of “Post-Fatalism – Bastille Day, July 14, 1949” ends “Human love can make it doubly certain that we are not alone. Thus I write of Wesley Martin.”
29 July – Kerouac types prose that begins: “I’ve often watched the way a cat lives.” He continues on second page: “Pertaining to the cat, et al.” He includes observations on cat and human behavior, includes references to Emerson and Shakespeare
14 August – Kerouac handwrites one-page of “The Moral Scoundrel.”
23 August – Allen Ginsberg records into a journal the lyrics to bawdy songs learned from Lucien Carr.
1 September – Kerouac types an essay titled “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” aboard the S.S. George B. Weems. He adds a holograph note: “Written at sea at night (heavy seas in Atlantic”) The piece includes description of dreams and begins: “Dreams are the product of the subconscious mind.”
18 September – Kerouac writes a letter to girlfriend, Edie Parker.
23 September – Kerouac types notes for “The Romanticist” aboard the S.S. George B. Weems in Liverpool, England.
October – Kerouac moves into the apartment of Edie Parker at 421 West 118th Street, New York City.
10 December – Allen Ginsberg meets Lucien Carr in his room at the Union Theological Seminary. Carr was playing records, Brahms’ Trio No.1, whereupon Ginsberg heard it and knocked on the door to introduce himself.
17 December – Allen Ginsberg writes his brother Eugene: “Saturday I plan to go down to Greenwich Village with friend of mine who claims he’s an “intellectual” (that has a musty flavor, hasn’t it) and know queer and interesting people there. I plan to get drunk Saturday evening if I can.”
18 December – Lucien Carr brings Allen Ginsberg to Greenwich Village to meet William S. Burroughs and David Kammerer.
27 December – Kerouac handwrites one-page of prose titled “Columbia University.”
December 1943 – January 1944 – Kerouac begins a new notebook of self-analysis he titles “A Study in Disorganization – THE PROBLEM OF MYSELF” inspired by his reading of Alfred Adler’s “The Case of Miss R.” and sections of his The Neurotic Constitution (1917). His readings made him aware that he “fitted perfectly the symptomatic description of the neurotic.
11 January – “Heineman took the script and will read it. Nothing will happen, I grant you. Went back to Edie-s—argument as usual. Seymour has job; Joan also—typing. I must get myself a job this week. E. in funny mood; she’s marvelous and sweet and great stuff, but I’m mean and I don’t appreciate her. Women are incredibly vain.” [Diary 1944-1945]
12 January – May get job at Seymour’s place. Read James T Farrell’s “Judgment Day”—a sustained tragedy, wonderful! E. signed up(arbitrarily) for art course at Columbia. Derek came at night; living in Warren Hall now; “lanky undergraduate.” E. wants me to marry her next week. Argument. [Diary 1944-1945]
13 January – Fight over marriage business. Won’t do it for the sake of her folk’s feelings over out “impropriety”—what ‘bout my folks? Am 21, ambitious, adventurous. I love E., but I won’t marry her or anyone until it’s time. It’s not the time now. She made a Freudian slip—“get me.” To women, it seems, marrying is “getting….” like a foxhunt. (What on earth have I got worth getting.) Wouldn’t have it. Stupid ultimatum on her part: in one sentence, she tries to determine whether she’s love, “ever”: “Marry me immediately or go.” I went. Can’t stand people who think life is a crude, weakly-constructed thing one can bull through with head down. Life is a complicated affair, at least to me… It is a subtle and steely structure. I had been working toward a slow, well-wrought solution to all this until she busted my plans with this teenish idiocy. Impatience! Tears! Temperament! Sobs! What a show, what a woman, what a farce. She thinks Manna comes from Heaven indeed, it she thinks her on-time Debutante tactics can stand by her through life. I’m disgusted with her, and I am terribly lonely and depressed. This is all quite a crisis. I don’t know what I’ll do. Without her, I can’t stand New York—and I’m not going back to her. Ironie! Thou soothing satisfactorie! (Cut my population and call me Hamlet.) (Cachination No. 1)” [Diary 1944-1945]
14 January – “Home in L.I. Reading Farrell. Went to show at night with Pop – saw two of them, discussed Joe Doakes, etc.
16 January – “Home on Sunday.” Read Times, etc. Seymour arrived at 2. We played game—Pop thinks it’s terrific. Had fine roast pork for dinner, listened to radio, talked politics.” [Diary 1944-1945]
17 January – “Up at 7:30 to go to N.Y. with Seymour. Job for me where he works, but will again have to wait until employer gets over flu and fires me. At E.’s this evening. West End. Made up.” [Diary 1944-1945]
18 January – “E. Has bad cold. Ate steak at Sugar Bowl. Derek came.” [Diary 1944-1945]
February – Kerouac writes in his journal a basic rundown of his activities this month: “Finally doing script work for Columbia pix. Living at home with folks, see Edie occasionally. Happy enough these days. “Galloway” novel coming along fine. Wrote long poem “Supreme Reality” night of Feb. 28. I’m feeling pretty good these days. Feel a flowering… March— Am at 30,000-word mark of “Galloway.” It’s loosely knit, but appealingly diffuse (a teaser, I guess.) Will read “Supreme Reality” on S.’ machine, my own reading. Finished “Problem of Myself”—can’t comment on it, it wasn’t a seriously constructed attempt, but there is come thought to it. Came to certain conclusions regarding a unique Genus Communisticus—God! what flagrant hypocrisy and righteousness! What unpardonable damnable witchery! Am referring to a “Communist” I know who would sell out for a dowry. Wrote “Boy From Philadelphia”—promising s.s. that might sell. Edie and I in love again. Poor little vogelscheiss—she is indescribably sweet. Had a terrific weekend this month I may write of in short novel form. Still synopsizing for Columbia Pictures Corp., “ostrich studio.” [Diary 1944-1945]
28 February – “Wrote long poem “Supreme Reality” on S.’s machine, my own reading.” [Diary 1944-1945]
10 March – Neal Cassady is charged with escape from Forestry Camp, No. 3 in Los Angeles, California.
21 March – Kerouac types “Beginning. March 21, 1944. Ozone Park, L.I.”: Begins: “God is said to have created man in his own image.”
12 April – Kerouac writes notes on war and its effect on soldiers and the cross-migration of peoples for his planned novel, The Haunted Life.
30 April – Kerouac “quits” his student status at Columbia University and goes to New Orleans.
May – Kerouac writes in his diary: “The Spring—the perishing green. Lucien Carr is the most amazing figure in this neighborhood of amazing figures: yet he is cold, not warm. We rout out together the curiosities of Greenwich Village and allied cultures. To Lucien archetypal circumstances are clichés—still and all he would make a wonderful anthropologist, another Aldous Huxley. Edie was so genuinely glad to see me returned from New Orleans…” [Diary 1944-1945]
11 May – Kerouac handwrites an untitled poem, begins “The perishing green of May.” Verso: “The ghoul-thoughts.”
June- Kerouac writes in his diary: “June and July—Columbia Pix work in offices. Live with folks and with Edie… the old ambivalence remains, but not its vestigial psychopathic complex. G.J. visited me… went to Asbury, etc. Quit job to ship out with Lucien to France where we intend to jump ship and live in Paris. French culture and all that.” [Diary 1944-1945]
1 June – Kerouac meets Allen Ginsberg. Carr’s girlfriend, Celine Young is friends with Edie Parker and her roommate, Joan Vollmer. On this occasion, Ginsberg has joined Lucien and Celine to visit Edie. Kerouac is in the apartment when they arrive there.
22-23 June – Allen Ginsberg transcribes a dialogue between himself and Lucien Carr on “Aesthetics and Morality.”
4 July – Marshall Christman and John Warren break into a home in Denver, Colorado and are promptly arrested. Investigators are led to Neal Cassady who is charged with receiving stolen property for Christman. Cassady is arrested.
8 July – Neal Cassady is charged with home invasion and theft in Denver, Colorado.
12 July – Caroline Kerouac writes Jack who tells him that she has taken on a job recruiting for W.A.C.S. in St. Louis, Missouri and that she is living with a teacher, Miss L. Belle Pollard. She is concerned about Jack’s relationship with the “wrong woman,” Edie Parker, living away from home and his lack of communication with their parents: “Go home darling, and try to make our folks last years as pleasant as can be. You can still have your Escapades, without hurting them, that is if you’re a wise man – and I’m sure you are just that.” She also provides for Jack a contact in the film industry, actor Lon McAllister
28 July – Allen Ginsberg signs up for the wartime draft and takes a physical examination prior to his unduction into the military. He is classified 4F and is determined unfit for service due to admitted homosexual tendencies.
3 August – Allen Ginsberg writes “Essay in Character Analysis: Lucien Carr – Carr is strangely limited by subliminal repressions, which he rationalizes, unconsciously enough, and makes capital of.” He follows this with a “suicide note” written into his journal.
14 August – After a night of carousing and a heated argument, Lucien Carr stabs David Kammerer to death and disposes his body in the Hudson River. He at once seeks counsel from William S. Burroughs who implores Carr to hire legal representation and plead self defense.
18 August – Neal Cassady is sentenced to the Colorado State Reformatory for accepting stolen property, to wit; automobile tires sold for $9.00. Cassady pleads guilty to the charge.
August – Gabrielle Kerouac writes her son, “Dearest Boy,” in the Bronx jail addressing the consequences of Jack’s arrest and what his family is trying to do for him. She informs him that they had gotten in touch with Edie Parker’s mother. She asks him to have “patience” and let them work through the “legal matters” of the situation: “So be a good boy, be calm and patient and we guarantee you will be freed and will do it the right way. ” Allen Ginsberg also writes Kerouac in his jail cell, apprising him of his latest readings of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
23 August – Edie visits Kerouac who is still in jail waiting for a Michigan judge to release $500.00 of her trust fund money to bail him out. Neal Cassady enters the Colorado State Reformatory.
24 August – Lucien Carr is indicted on a charge of 2nd-degree murder.
25 August – Kerouac marries Edie Parker under the auspices of New York City Clerk, W. Warren Huffault at 2:77 P.M. with Detective John McKeon as witness at Municipal Building. Kerouac is escorted afterwards back to his Bronx jail cell.
September – Kerouac writes in his diary that he and Edie are living in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and that he is working at a war plant in order to pay back his $500.00 bail debt. He writes Ginsberg about his plans to go to Paris
1 September – Allen Ginsberg writes a suicide note in his journal.
21 September – Lucien Carr writes Kerouac giving him a glimpse of what life is like for him in the Tombs: “Most veterans claim two months in the Tombs far less endurable than two years “upstate.” They say this is the breaking down prison where men’s wills are broken to the point where they cop pleas rather than try to beat their raps which might entail months in here. The discipline, however, is purely negative, that is there are many things one cannot do but nothing one must do. Nevertheless the Tombs does its work last year there was a 97% conviction rate because of plea copping.”
23 September – Kerouac writes into his notebook at Grosse Point, Michigan that he is having nightmares of “violent death” stemming from the Carr/Kammerer murder. He also makes a journal entry and writes an autobiographical statement.
late-September – Gabrielle Kerouac writes, assuming Jack is en-route to Italy on a merchant marine freighter ship.
October – Kerouac writes a number of works throughout this month known as his “Self-Ultimacy” period. These works are: “Dialogs in Introspection 1944 N.Y.” written in red and gray pencil. A philosophical dialog on morality, society, sin; “The Dark Corridor” – an early essay in philosophy and mysticism”; “The Repertoire [sic] of Modern Ideas / A List / My experience is living; my art is life.” Written in black ink and red and gray pencil, which is an essay on modern philosophy; Kerouac writes in his diary: “Started out for Italy but got off merchant ship n Norfolk. Affair with L.’s girl, not long, in N.Y. Entered the campus again, plunged myself into Symbolism.” [Diary 1944-1945] He writes Ginsberg.
3 October – Gabrielle Kerouac writes Jack anxiously awaiting word from him. She watches the mailbox for new letters thinking he is at sea.
8 October – Kerouac writes into his notebook “A Dissertation on Style”: “In reporting on experience, one is confronted with problems at once difficult and dubious—the problems, in this case, of style. For it is perhaps wholly true that “The master is too pregnant with message to experiment with forms.” But is it not also true that “substance without form” is not a whole in itself?” He explains that his novel Galloway sought to shape “substance in a form correlative to the substance.” To that regard, Kerouac seeks a cosmogony whereas his “Supreme Reality is the true form itself; that of the individual and the “world under all circumstances.”
26 October – Kerouac waits at Flynn’s Bar in the Village for Lucien Carr’s girlfriend, Celene Young, to meet him. She stands him up. Writing on the back sides of two Ballantyne Ale and Beer adverts, he details his thoughts on his loneliness, love, longing, beauty and ignorance. He feels that she is a woman toying with a “Self-Ultimatist poet”: She is not coming. Oh if she does not come, I shall worry my face blue. (How can I say I will die – I cannot die.) If she does not come, I shall go to a movie to postpone the anguish. After the movie, what? I have no more money, I do not want to give myself up to the family. I do not want to be lonely or to work, I cannot be practical and I cannot die and I am an apprentice nihilist . . . . This, then, is hell. Oh Celene, come, come!”
28 October – Kerouac gets into a brawl at the West End Bar. Kerouac is “infatuated” with Celene Young” the “simpering schoolgirl.” Ginsberg tells Kerouac that “she would vomit, to drink the blood of a poet!”
31 October – Kerouac writes “Oct. 31, 1944 Music library” which includes a holograph poem “I hate the sea.”
November – Kerouac writes in his diary: “Same. Still hiding out from wife + parents, pursuing Bohemian life, writing. Fulfilling prophecy of “Dark Corridor,” Starvation also. Various literary pursuits. Reading of this time: Conrad, Gide, DH Lawrence, Melville, Spengler, F. Kafka, Farrell, Wolfe, Bible, Dictionary, Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Pascal, Denton Welch, and newspapers.” [Diary 1944-1945]
3 November – Kerouac works at a football game as a “ticket taker.”where he observes that he has come into “contact with the multitude” and in contrast, he now feels and understands the “loneliness of Thomas Wolfe.” In his Warren Hall room, he lies in the dark on the bed and hears the multitude outside streaming past the building.
4 November – Kerouac records a dream he has where people talk in the language of Finnegan’s Wake.” He also begins a new novel, I Bid You Lose Me which becomes revised title, Galloway.
10 November – Kerouac begins a new notebook from Room 6Q – Warren Hall where he is staying with Allen Ginsberg. He titles the notebook, “I Bid You Lose Me – workbook”, which is short for “I bid you lose me and find yourselves”: “I can find no time to compromise— I am the revolutionary. It is for you, the compromiser, to realize the progress, to implement, rather, the progress that I shall have given birth to (no cracks about laborer pains—) Each man to his own work—and to his own hedonism, if you wish. And I have not had occasion yet to realize my relative intellectual immaturity.” He later records a dialogue between Celene Young and himself on the Columbia campus where he tells her that “there is no point to it […] you and I.” He records other passing conversations of Ginsberg, Joan Adams and John Kingsland.
15 November – Kerouac writes notes in Room 6Q, Warren Hall about “losing society and finding one’s self.” This, he feels, grants a unique advantage in social standing for he is free to act and behave as he pleases.
25 November – Gabrielle Kerouac writes Edie Parker Kerouac. Gabrielle apprises her of her latest domestic doings, the imminent arrival of Caroline and family to New York, her hemmorhoids of which she is seeking treatment. She then reminds her that though her son is “irresponsible,” he also he needs the space and time to realzie his goals of becoming a published writer: “That’s why and I guess that’s where you come in, he’ll need your help and more ways than one if he’s to be a success. Writing is a long grind before it gets profitable. at any rate I know everything will be all-right for you two. if you have patience and fate in him”
December – Kerouac writes in his diary: “December 1944—Same. Finally gave up around Xmas and called Edie. She came. We are in love—it is primitive + real. Home for Xmas. Pop dislikes novel Burroughs + I writing around Carr murder. Edie went home to Detroit, had crackup, 54 stitches in face. I went out to see her. New Year’s Eve at her bedside.” [Diary 1944-1945]
5 December – Columbia undergraduate Donna Leonard [ed. note: “Della” in And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks] writes a note into Kerouac’s notebook: “Jack – seeing you has made my economic life satisfactory. -Am now (2P.M) going over to see Burroughs again.- will probably stay at Allen’s and will be at Joan’s early – Deni said to pick up some things – will see you around 3 or so. Or tomorrow afternoon at 4 you can ask around then perhaps – Don’t be too wicked, Donna P.S. Will have to come back some time tomorrow.”
20 December – Kerouac makes notes “On Galloway” as well as “On Bill.”
24 December – Kerouac finally makes his presence known to his mother and father after he returned “home” after “writing in N.Y. garret.”: “She thots I was at sea.”
25 December – Kerouac writes a note into the first page of his December. He spends Christmas with Edie.
31 December – Kerouac stays through the night with Edie who suffered 54 stitches to her face from a car accident.
January: Kerouac writes in his diary: “Edie all right. Returned to N.Y. to try + make good so we can live together in N.Y. Wrote essay, story, poem,–all determined by new ideas. Cont’d work on novel with Burroughs.” [Diary 1944-1945]
1 January – In New York City, William S. Burroughs tries to dispose of a quantity of morphine syrettes and a submachine gun. He comes across petty thief and junkie Herbert Huncke and tries morphine for his first time.
18 January – Kerouac writes some notes and journal entries: begins, “Write about – Dante at the Beggar’s Bar.” He also makes notes on Montaigne.
22 January – Kerouac types a 4-page draft of a story, “Rapid draft of ‘The Rooming House, I.”
27 January – Kerouac writes “Song of Modern Sorrow.”
February: Kerouac writes in his diary: “Completed novel with Burroughs. Crucial sense of “end” and “beginning.” Also complete Essay on Nietzsche, Blake, + Yeats; short novel, “Orpheus Emerged”; story, “God’s Daughter.” [Diary 1944-1945]
March- Kerouac writes in his diary: “Seeing a lot of Burroughs. He is responsible for the education of Lucien, whom I had found, in lieu of his anarchy (rather than in spite of it), an extremely important person. “I lean with a fearful attraction over the depths of each creature’s possibilities and weep for all that lies atrophied under the heavy lid of custom and morality”—and—“The bastard alone has the right to be natural.” (Gide.) These lines elicit a picture of the Burroughs thought. However, his psychoanalytical probing has upset me prodigiously. “ [Diary 1944-1945]
14 March – Kerouac writes to Caroline Kerouac Blake.
17 March – Allen Ginsberg is suspended from Columbia College. He has roused the ire of a resident housekeeper after he wasn’t satisfied with the cleaning of his dormitory. He scrawls “Fuck the Jews” and “Butler has no balls” in the dusty windowsill hoping it would provoke her into cleaning the glass of the windows. After reporting Ginsberg to the head of student-faculty relations to investigate, he instead finds Kerouac in bed with Allen. To ramp up the allegations, Kerouac was also persona-non-grata on the campus after the fall-out of the Carr-Kammerer murder. Ginsberg is expelled for one year. He moves into the apartment of Joan Vollner on West 115th Street.
24 March – Leo Kerouac writes Caroline Kerouac: “Jack lives with us, with a skip now and then. He has written a book which he hopes they will publish. But that’s as far as it got so far. A publisher has it now for two weeks, and was supposed to let him know this week-end. He went away last Friday night and now, Sunday afternoon, he hasn’t shown up. He had a few dollars he earned with small odd jobs, and went on one of his intellectual? Binges, I suppose. The story deals with the screwy stuff that happens every day in New York, and it isn’t all nice stuff by any means. It tell that story of some European whackie who comes here at a tender age, and finally land in the jug after a murder he commits, because he is being pursued by another man??? Just imagine that!!
2 April – Leo Kerouac writes Caroline Kerouac: “I can’t give you anything funny. Life isn’t funny. What do you suppose happened to Jack. It was going through what you are that made him want to crawl in his shell. I hven’t crawled yet, I’ve tried in my own feeble way. But you Caroline must carry the banner on high. For yourself, for Paul, for us.”
April – Kerouac writes in his diary: “none of the stories and novels sold. Lionel Trilling has two stories; and since the Ginsberg suspension at Columbia I feel no urge to re-gather them to my desk. It would be too painful to see one of out leading critics writhe under me disreputable presence. Such a culture! as Mrs. Cohen sez.” [Diary 1944-1945]
12 April – Kerouac writes three pages of prose, “Flowers in their eyes” with characters of “Peter” and “Hardboot.”
28 April – Kerouac writes an extensive outline for a proposed novel titled Galloway.
7 May – Germany signs instrument of surrender to Allied Powers thus ending the war in Europe.
May – Kerouac writes in his diary: “Met Haldon Chase, whose Key has unlocked the door lending again to self-esteem—not to his knowledge, of course. Now I can afford to see Burroughs. It is singular that he, Burroughs, did not trouble himself to let me out of my psychic cage, when he could have. My esteem of him falls on account of that, since he was not behaving according to his Spenglerian beliefs. Whereas Gide corrupts with a clear-sighted purpose, B. corrupts in order to raise the standard of his own weak aggression. That is the only fault in Burroughs…otherwise, I could have regarded him as a great friend, as I do Lucien, or did. Coloradan Chase has unwittingly set me free again.” [Diary 1944-1945]
7 May – Germany signs instrument of surrender to Allied Powers thus ending the war in Europe.
17 May – Kerouac types notes that begins “I have been torturing myself uselessly.” Verso: Holograph statement on the artist’s work.
24 May – Kerouac handwrites notes that begin: “That ambiguous seeming term “American life.”
June – Kerouac writes in his diary: “Made plans to go to sea this summer and attend U.C.L.A. in the Fall on G.I. Bill of Rights. Making notes and diagrams of all-inclusive autobiographical novel, to be called “An American Passed Here.” Father’s health failing… must hurry.” [Diary 1944-1945]
2 June – Neal Cassady signs his parole agreement. Justin Brierly gets him a job recapping tires at a Goodyear factory in Denver, Colorado.
4 June – Kerouac types an excerpt for a planned novel, “An American Passed Here”: (Begins: “Now on this night he had become wrenched from within . . .”) End note is an excerpt for “An American Passed Here,” including characters “Michael Daoulas, Emil Daoulas,” and “mother.”
28 June – Kerouac writes, at 4 a.m. notes “on the occasion of feeling the need to write “An American Passed Here.”
July – Kerouac writes in his diary: “The gang broke up: Joan to Albany with Julie,Kingsland home, Edie to Asbury (we have abandoned marriage altogether: my idea), Burroughs to St. Louis and points unknown, Ginsberg presumably to merchant marine, Celine graduated, Hal to Colorado for summer, etc. All clear, and lonely. Spent two fairly nice weeks with family and my sister. Now I go, again—as always…” [Diary 1944-1945]
14 July – Kerouac makes notes on Andre Gide’s novel, The Counterfeiters and the “Gidean morality.”
mid-to-late July – Hal Chase returns to Denver, Colorado.
24 July – Kerouac begins a new journal, the first lines being, “Man’s primary problem is cultural.” [Notebook, “Spiral” 1945] William S. Burroughs writes Allen Ginsberg thanking him for a card.He also believes that the Columbia authorities have been “charitable” toward Ginsberg’s case. He is also curious about Ginsberg’s purchase of cocaine since his own supply is “utterly depleted.”
27 July – Kerouac writes notes in his Ozone Park apartment asking himself, “Is suffering therefore an art?” He also types a scene from an untitled novel, begins: “The pages of Beethoven and Dostoevsky are drenched with the strong wash of their suffering.”
late-July – Ginsberg writes Kerouac from Paterson, New Jersey: “Art has been for me, when I did not deceive myself, a meager compensation for what I desire, I am bored with these frantic cravings, tired of them and therefore myself, and contemptuous, though tolerant, of all my vast powers of self-pity and self expressive misery.”
30 July – Ginsberg leaves Paterson, New Jersey for Sheapshead Bay, Brooklyn’s Maritime Service Training Station.
August – Kerouac writes in his diary: “To hell, that is. Father’s in hospital, my seaman’s papers suspended by Coastal Guard. Writing magazine stories. Even under pressure, I can’t hold a decent job. Having fits of depression followed by great joy—sometimes in the same hour. No contact with friends. Not as lonely as I might have expected. Plan for big novel completed—must write it at college, beginning this Fall. Other than that, I’m home with family and that’s all. Sexual starvation, perhaps unconsciously self-imposed.” [Diary 1944-1945]
August – Kerouac writes “Notes on Nature of Life”: “Beethoven’s and Dostoevsky’s pages are drenched with the strong wash of their suffering…” [Notebook, “Spiral 1945]
early August – Kerouac finds work in upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley at a summer camp. There he experiences several mystical visions. He returns to Ozone Park by 10 August as he is not satisfied with the pay, writing Ginsberg that they wanted him to clean latrines for $30.00 a week.” He finds work instead as a soda jerk so as to raise the fare to go to Los Angeles.
1 August – Allen Ginsberg, who is still barred from Columbia and in need of money joins the Merchant Marine.
6 August – United States drops atomic weapon on Hiroshima, Japan.
8 August – Kerouac writes in his journal that he feels “man’s primary problem is indeed cultural” in response to the atomic bombs dropped in Japan. Allen Ginsberg is photographed in a group photo at the United States Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn New York. Kerouac writes in his journal: “–he also writes of two summer dreams” that he is walking down the main street of a city at dusk, maybe a small town in New England where men stand and talk. He thinks it may be “October again!”
9 August – United States drops second atomic weapon on Nagasaki, Japan. Kerouac writes in his journal: “NIGHT OF AUG. 9 I am in the kitchen of a long-ago home. I am attired in a lumber cap and jacket, and boots. Outside there is the hint of cold. It is October again!” [Notebook, “Spiral” 1945]
10 August – Kerouac writes to Allen Ginsberg who is undergoing training at the Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, New York. He tells Ginsberg that his job at a summer camp didn’t work out and he is now earning money as a soda jerk. On the way home from the camp, he reads André Gide’s The Counterfeiters.
12 August – Allen Ginsberg writes Kerouac detailing his experiences at Merchant Marine training at the Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, New York.
14 August – Kerouac writes notes on Shostakovitch’s Fifth Symphony (1937).
15 August – Japan announces its intention to surrender to Allied Powers.
17 August – Kerouac writes in his notebook a reaction to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. He writes Allen Ginsberg from Ozone Park detailing an account of a night in Times Square with William S. Burroughs, trying to pick up women. He gets drunk and loses his “psychic balance.” Kerouac steals a copy of Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.
20 August – William S. Burroughs arrives in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn New York to enroll in Merchant Marine training.
21 August – Kerouac begins a new diary to which will encompass from this date through September 3, 1945; including thoughts on Céline, the sickness of Leo Kerouac, “American-ness” and art. He also makes notes on his “Philip Tourian” novel.
Allen Ginsberg writes Kerouac from Sheepshead Bay, New York. Learning that Burroughs is in town, he asks for Burroughs’s address and chides Kerouac for calling him “sophomoric” in a letter dated August 17, 1945.
Burroughs disenrolls from the Merchant Marines because he wanted to work as a purser to which the unit did not want to appoint him.
23 August – Kerouac writes Allen Ginsberg from Ozone Park informing him that William S. Burroughs is currently at Sheepshead Bay. He also shares that he is presently working on three novels simultaneously as well as a large diary.
24-26 August – Ginsberg is granted liberty for the weekend from Merchant Marine training but falls ill.
September – Kerouac writes in his diary: “Tempus edax rerum. U.C.L.A. refused me—I think because I didn’t get an honorable dismissal from Columbia in 1942. Wrote Celine-like version of Carr case, other stories, found interested agents in Ingersoll + Brennan. Father ill for the rest of his life, not—home all the time.” [Diary 1944-1945] He also writes notes on Galloway and An American Passed here. The notes will ultimately comprise Book Three of The Town and the City.
2 September – Japan signs instrument of surrender to Allied Powers.
4 September – Allen Ginsberg writes Kerouac telling him that he missed Burroughs at Sheepshead Bay because of his illness, and Burroughs’s expulsion from Merchant Marine training. He alerts Kerouac of his current reading, and that after having started Tolstoy’s War and Peace, he now prefers Dostoevsky over Tolstoy. He also sends a letter from Lionel Trilling that was written to him. Lastly, Ginsberg is “distressed” at the tone of Kerouac’s last letter.
6 September – Kerouac writes Allen Ginsberg from Ozone Park. Kerouac still has no knowledge of Burroughs’s whereabouts, of his envy to have friends like Trilling like Ginsberg has, his resentment toward the dismissal of Lucien Carr on the Columbia campus, and an encounter with Celine Young who tells Kerouac that Lucien did not love her anymore. He assures Ginsberg not to be distressed over his previous letter, it was just a “mood.”
7-9 September – Kerouac meets Edie Parker over the weekend for a get-together of friends including Celine Young, Joan Haverty Adams, John Kingsland and, possibly, Burroughs.
20 September – Kerouac writes “Skeleton of Story” which is a draft of an autobiographical short story titled “Frannie and Joe.” The characters are a pair of newlyweds from New York and now living in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Joe works nights at a Detroit war plant as an assistant foreman. He goes to a bar and sees that Frannie’s favorite song, “Sweet Lorraine” by the Nat King Cole trio is on the jukebox. Excited he drinks four bars and goes to her home where they are living to bring her back to listen to the song. He wakes her up (it’s morning!) and coerces her to go out. As she gets ready, she stirs the wrath of her father. She finds Joe has fallen asleep. She undresses and gets back into bed and watches him sleep.
26 September – Beatrice Aronson of Columbia Pictures writes to Kerouac.
27 September – Leo Kerouac writes to Caroline Kerouac Blake. He apprises her of his slow recuperation from an enlarged spleen and of his constant drainage of fluids from his abdomen: “Jack expects to hitch-hike to California sometime around the 20th of October. Hope he’ll meet Paul before he goes. He’s got very ambitious plans, considering this and that—so good luck to him.”
15 October – Kerouac types notes for “Chapter Eight” on “Bourgeois and Bohemian.”
16 October – Kerouac writes an essay, on sin and virtue titled “Written On a Wintry Night.”
17 October – Robert N. Linscott of Random House writes Madeline Brennan of Ingersoll and Brennan commenting on Kerouac’s manuscript: “Dear Maddy, I would be delighted to meet Mr. Kerouac but we would probably fight like hell about his novel. To my mind it is blurred, romantic, immature, old-fashioned and undigested; it’s only saving grace, the author’s ability to put words together.” Though Linscott was hopeful for Kerouac’s future work, he was “violently adverse on the subject of the present opus.” Kerouac writes dramatic dialogue/lyric poem: “A Dialog, Lyric & Technic.” Verso, untitled poem (Begins: “Voluptuous names for our silent / Disregard.”)
Leo Kerouac writes Caroline Kerouac Blake (10-17-45) alerting her to the news that Gabrielle has taken on a job skiving shoes for $70-75.00 a week. “I have already spent over $450 In hospital and doctor’s fees, and no real encouragement in sight. Lucky I had saved that thousand. Now your mother is alone to face this racket. Jack may do something. He was not accepted at the California U. Blames the Columbia gang. You know, there’s always some one to blame when you sleep all day, stay up all night, earn $5 or $ 10 a week, and drink and eat it up in a few hours with convivial friends.” & “If Jack could ever straighten out, it would take a load off my mind. But apparently, he is going further and further away from me, and nothing I can do or say des any good. He’s had a few good notices from people who get his manuscripts, but so far nothing has clicked. He may soon, two different firms have offered him work, but you know Jack.”
6 November – Kerouac writes reading notes on Andre Gide’s novel The Counterfeiters (1925). He also makes writing notes concerning the “benzedrine weekends” that he feels will make an excellent ending for his novel-in-progress, Galloway.
8 November – (New York) Kerouac begins writing “Theme Dedication” for his novel-in-progress, dedicating it to his parents and Sebastian Sampas who had died the previous year.
9 November – (New York) Kerouac abandons “Theme Dedication” : This book is as to say, as for Michael Daoulas to say, “Here is the expression and preservation of that human awareness that I have had, and do have, and carry about with me, among all of you in your own awareness of this life we share, in the darkness and defeat and horror common to us all, and here it is with all its particulars and appurtenances—beautiful, horrified, even modern—and with that staring into the eye of life and death that finally must make one stand and be equal to all that there is in life and death. Had I not done this, my friends, long ago would I have succumbed to and been crushed by the horror, and disintegrated into something other than that which I want to become, a living human being.”
13 November – Kerouac writes Allen Ginsberg.
25 November – Kerouac writes a small essay titled “My Dying City” in which he ponders who would be sitting in the empty seats of a city bus he is riding on if it hadn’t been for the war. He declares his generation to be the “last,” “finest” and “full of strange joy.”
30 November – Kerouac writes “Anecdotes to Remember” for his character Claude Breton. The anecdote was an incident where he climbed the slope and the steps of a hospital during a snowstorm. He is immediately struck an experience at the “snowpine slope” on Lakeview Avenue (near the home of his birth) in Lowell, Massachusetts. The feeling gives him a “powerful shock” and he wonders if it is a buried memory of an event that may have happened with his dead brother.
1 December – Kerouac writes in his journal: “My father and I were listening to the Army-Navy football game over the radio, and I commented on how people like the President and General Marshall got to the game in special Pullman cars, with cocktails & lunch on the way, while the average or “common” man had to stand in jampacked Penn. RR trains to get there, and in some cases, was forced to buy $4.40 tickets for $50.00 from swarthy Broadway-Sam scalpers outside the stadium. My father began to blow up about this, about the dignitaries not to mention the scalpers, but it seemed natural to me. “How can they get away with it?” he complained; and I saw that my father believed in some sort of floating illusion he called “justice” which “should” inhibit these uninhibited Caesars. I saw it all as right & proper, and real; and that is one difference between my father’s and my generation.” Leo responds in the journal, )“In the pig’s ass it is—-or at least, I’m not of that generation.)” Jack then adds, “ I agree with Pop.” [Notebook, “Spiral” 1945]
December – Kerouac writes in his diary: “Went to hospital with thrombophlebitis (milkleg) for 2 weeks—Horrible time.” [Diary 1944-1945]
6 December – Leo Kerouac writes Caroline Kerouac: “Your mother still does very well, her work has fallen some, but she manages very well. Jack is in the hospital, and will be taken care of like Paul was, at Government expense. Thank God for that! as for myself, I’m just about giving up hope. I am not improving the least bit, whether I have the wrong kind of doctors or whether I’m incurable is a matter of opinion. I can’t get a word from another
one, Woodel or the fellow who gives me the treatments. All I know is that I pay out, and get no results. It’s a tough situation, and is bound to turn out badly eventually.”
18 December – Kerouac types a 9-page revised chapter: “Moi, c’est l’état.” for “Part One – the Brothers – Michael’s anti-climactic return.”
20 December – Kerouac writes himself a “direction-finding” method in that he feels that he often “lags” behind others and allows it to be a hindrance.
28 December – Kerouac handwrites notes: Begins: “It’s come to the point now that you don’t know really what attitude to take towards life or anything in or about it.”