Jack Kerouac's Miniature Prayer Book in French!
A miniature prayer book, 1" x 1.5", which unfolds as shown in the images. Printed in Canada. J.L. 4460 Christophe-Colomb, Montreal. Near fine, appearing as this was intended to fit in one's pocket so it may stay with and on a person. With the title of "Prayer and convention with the Sacred Heart of Jesus"
my god I thank you for having just breathed my last, every time my heart beats that I pass by a church or before a cross
Of noted interest is the text is in French. Although Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, he was the son of immigrants from Quebec (French/Canada), who were devoutly Catholic. The pre-Vatican II Catholicism that saturated Lowells tight-knit French Canadian community. Gabrielle KerouacJacks mothermatched Leos (father) civic pride with a fervent religious faith. It is impossible to overstate the influence of Catholicism and religion in Jack's life and his writing. This important piece is therefore extremely significant in its relevance to Kerouac's life.
Provenance: The piece will be accompanied by an estate certification signed by John Shen-Sampas, executor of the Kerouac Estate. John Shen-Sampas is the son of John Sampas, who was the brother-in-law of Jack Kerouac, and the brother of Stella Kerouac, Jack's wife.
According to Kerouac, "On the Road" "was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him. I found him in the sky, in Market Street San Francisco (those 2 visions), and Dean (Neal) had God sweating out of his forehead all the way." At the core of On the Road, and at the heart of all his work, is the Catholic and Beat insistence upon an underlying spirituality that inhabits all creation. Kerouac saw the world, and everything in it, as Holy. In his view, all experience was an opportunity to, as Wordsworth put it, see into the life of things. As Sal Paradise (Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty and all the other rogues, misfits and castaways of On the Road go tearing about the country in a wild ecstasy, their adventures of reckless abandon really become inquiries into what are the real values, truths and myths of America. What they expose is "phony and sad". What they discover, at times, even amidst their youthful hedonism, is an idealism and a spirituality that endures not because of modern America but in spite of it.
The Catholic Church is a weird church, Jack later wrote to his friend and muse Neal Cassady. Much mysticism is sown broad spread from its ritual mysteries till it extends into the very lives of its constituents and parishioners. It is impossible to overstate the influence of Catholicism on all of Kerouacs work, save perhaps those books written during his Buddhist period in the mid-to-late 1950s. The influence is so obvious and so pervasive, in fact, that Kerouac became justifiably incensed when Ted Berrigan of the Paris Review asked during a 1968 interview, How come you never write about Jesus? Kerouacs reply: Ive never written about Jesus?
Youre an insane phony
All I write about is Jesus.
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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