Desolation Angels. Jack Kerouac.
Desolation Angels
Desolation Angels
Desolation Angels

Desolation Angels

London, England: Andre Deutsch Limited, 1966. First British Edition. Hardcover. "All of the leading figures of the Beat Generation appear in this novel, and what the reader witnesses is the way in which these people, obsessed by art, self-investigation and ideas, became aware of themselves and their own attitudes, and crystallized into a group expressing many of their contemporaries' feelings which had hitherto been hushed up or considered improper for literature. And the man who is writing might be called the crystallizing agent: the Big Daddy of Hip, the writer who achieved a rhythm close to jazz, a pace like the actual movement of the mind, and a voice which has penetrated to a larger number of young people than has been reached by anyone else of his generation." (from front & back flaps) The thinly fictionalized memoir (as are virtually all his works) by Jack Kerouac, Founding Father of the Beat Generation. A personal favorite of this writer, Kerouac here describes the existential anxiety & loneliness ("desolation") he experiences, differently but equally, first in the profound isolation of a remote forest-fire lookout, then amidst his cohorts in San Francisco & Mexico at the apex of the Beat Generation- San Francisco Renaissance phenomenon when its notoriety was beginning to explode. Again as with all his major works, the actual Beats including himself are barely disguised under fictional names- William S. Burroughs ("Bull Hubbard"), Carolyn & Neal Cassady ("Evelyn & Cody Pomeray"), Allen Ginsberg ("Irwin Garden"), narrator-participant Kerouac himself (his alter ego "Jack Duluoz"), Gary Snyder ("Jarry Wagner") & many more, with the same identities that he deployed in Big Sur, etc. With a thoughtful, enthusiastic introduction by the late, great Beat-related journalist & critic Seymour Krim. This is the first British edition, published the year following the first American edition, hardcover in unclipped dust jacket, one of 4000 copies issued May 23, 1966 (Charters, A20(c), pg. 44). The contents, including pagination, here are identical to the American edition; the differences are in covers, spine & especially the dust jacket, which has a pop-art illustration on silver background, & flap copy (see above) similar to the American version with paraphrasing & inspiration from Krim's introduction but tuned to a swinging-sixties British sensibility. A profound work of literary art; an absolutely essential pillar in the collectible Kerouac canon in its penultimately rarest form. Book in very fine condition with only slightest wear, fading & a few tiny bumps at edges & corners of black front, back covers & spine; very mild rubbing, occasional light scratching & a few small-to-tiny spot-stains at edges of text block. Interior very fine with only small-to-tiny bumps, faint creases to upper corners & side edges of a few page leaves. Dust jacket in relatively very fine condition with only slightest rubbing & a few short, faint creases & scratches to front, back covers & spine; mild wear with some tiny bumps & very slight loss of silver surface to edges & corners of same; one small, closed vertical tear at mid-bottom edge of front cover hardly effecting illustration; another much shorter, mostly closed tear at lower left edge of back cover. Very Fine / Very fine. [Item #3401]

Price: $300.00