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Lot 146

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Jack Kerouac's Personally Owned Copy of Allen Ginsberg Signed "Yage Letters", Estate Certified

A copy of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, "The Yage Letters" (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1963), from the personal collection of Jack Kerouac (1922-1969). The third printing (November 1966) paperback edition is signed and inscribed by Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), its co-author, as "Allen Ginsberg / Lowell 1967" on the full title page. Stamped on the half title page with the Jack Kerouac Estate stamp and the raised blind seal from Executor of the Estate, John Sampas. Expected light wear to the spine. Minor toning to the back cover, and a slight edge abrasion verso mentioned only for accuracy. Else near fine. 12mo. 68pp.

Jack Kerouac, the famous American writer who brought us "On The Road" (1957), must have received this autographed copy of "The Yage Letters" during one of Ginsberg's visits to Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts in 1967. Jack and his third wife Stella lived at 271 Sanders Avenue in Lowell between January 1967 and the summer of 1968. The Kerouacs's last home together was in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Kerouac would die in October 1969.

Kerouac had first met Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs (1914-1997) in 1940, while a student at Columbia University; the trio would remain lifelong friends and become the figureheads of the Beatnik Movement. "The Yage Letters" is a collection of letters exchanged between Burroughs and Ginsberg between 1953-1960. The book's title refers to yage, or ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic drug found in South America. Yage was used recreationally by Burroughs during his travels there following the 1951 shooting death of his second wife Joan Vollmer; Ginsberg also experimented with the drug.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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