Paul Maher Jr.

Empty Phantoms – Interviews and Encounters With Jack Kerouac (Expanded & Revised)

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Empty Phantoms: Collected Interviews with Jack Kerouac (Expanded & Revised) gathers together all known printed, recorded, and filmed interviews—including those celebrated, infamous, or obscure—with the acclaimed American writer, Jack Kerouac.

In many instances, the interviews are transcribed from original tapes and are either unabridged, like the famous “Paris Review” or unexpurgated, such as the Northport Library interview.

Although many top-notch journalists, from Mike Wallace to William F. Buckley, conducted the interviews, it is Kerouac who dominates the proceedings, with his energy, wit, passion, anger, astute insights, playfulness, literary integrity, and searching spirituality. Best of all, the interviews are replete with Kerouacisms like «walking on water wasn't built in a day, wisdom is heartless," and "pity dogs and forgive men," which have been a cherished aspect of Kerouac's literature.

Beyond his own works, this living portrait of Kerouac isn't available anywhere else.
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517 printed pages
Original publication



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    Carlos Castillo Novelohas quotedlast year
    Afterwards Rexroth, a middle-aged man in velvet jacket and string-tie who has the face of a bleached Eartha Kitt, added to Kerouac's definition: "Beats? Well, you could say we're like anonymous messengers from another planet just roaming around in the electric-razor age. One way I figure we can communicate with each other is through this poetry-jazz work-out. This isn't just a gimmick for the unwashed cats and
    Carlos Castillo Novelohas quotedlast year
    You know, meditate. You gotta live simply. Not consume. Everyone in America just consumes. My motto is: Love, suffer, work. I work in spurts -- prepare myself, then I really go, man. I put a roll of teleprinter paper in my typewriter and type 90 words a minute."
    Carlos Castillo Novelohas quotedlast year
    probably would not have had much to say to each other. I felt both very young and very old: young, in the sense that it seemed to me I found life less overwhelming than Kerouac did, and old because I knew I could not offer any simplicities comparable to his platform of raucous hedonism.

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