University Archives

Lot 139

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 Jack Kerouac Estate Items with Probable Associations to "Satori in Paris", "Desolation Angels", and "Vanity of Duluoz"

Two pieces of ephemera personally belonging to Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the famous American writer who brought us "On The Road" (1957). Both pieces in this lot are stamped with the Jack Kerouac Estate stamp.

These two rather banal items--an airplane dinner menu and a book editor's Christmas card--have probable associations with several of Jack Kerouac's most important later works: "Desolation Angels" (1965), "Satori in Paris" (1966), and "Vanity of Duluoz" (1968).

The lot is comprised of:

1. Air France (Paris-New York) 5-course in-flight dinner menu, depicting a Breton or Benelux village scene on the front cover. Expected wear including a few wrinkles, else near fine. 6.125" x 9.125".

Did Kerouac save this menu as a souvenir of his trip to Paris and Brittany in 1965, when the writer spent ten days intermittently boozing and conducting genealogical research on his French ancestors? Kerouac wrote about his experiences on this trip in "Satori in Paris" (New York: Grove Press, 1966). Kerouac had intended on returning to France in 1967, but this trip was cancelled because of pressing deadlines related to "Vanity of Duluoz".

2. Christmas card sent from Kerouac's last book editor, Ellis Amburn (1933-2018). The tape residue at top suggests the card was mounted or displayed.

Ellis Amburn and Kerouac collaborated on Jack's two last novels, "Desolation Angels" and "Vanity of Duluoz", both of which were published at Coward-McCann in the mid- to late 1960s. Amburn published a biography of Kerouac entitled "Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998), in which he offered his own impressions of Jack's struggles with depression, denial, and drug use.

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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