Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”). Jack Kerouac.
Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”)
Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”)
Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”)
Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”)

Mag (Czech-Language Edition of “Pic”)

Czechoslovakia: Votobia, 1996. First Czech Edition. Hardcover. In a 2020 interview with Mojo Magazine, Tom Waits remarked that “Pic” was his personal favorite Jack Kerouac book. “It’s written like a Mark Twain story, all in phonetic black jargon,” Waits was quoted as saying. What most Kerouac fans (and Beat-&-Beyonders alike) don’t know is that “Pic” was not written at the very end of Kerouac’s life. Its posthumous publication (it was first published in 1971, roughly two years after Kerouac’s death in 1969) may lead one to think this, but “Pic” was written over the Summer and Fall of 1950 as he was struggling to pin his vision for “On the Road” to the page. The work was virtually completed just before Kerouac would receive the life-altering “Joan Anderson Letter” from Neal Cassady, freeing his prose from the shackles of emulation and quietly lighting the candleflame that would soon be passed through the counterculture writ large. The misconception about when exactly Kerouac wrote “Pic” comes from the fact that he did “return to” the work in the last months of his life, wrapping it up by hastily composing a new ending for the work. “Pic” is best considered a “fun” book, almost like “Kerouac-for-Kids.” It should not be considered among the ranks of the series of works which still today live on in white-marbled immortality. These works, including “On the Road” and “The Dharma Bums,” cannot be rightly compared to “Pic.” Such a comparison is misguided at best, dishonest at worst. Added to this is the fact that “Pic” is best known by its defining tinderbox liability—it was written by a pale-hued man (if you leave out the yellowing, ruddy-hued visage of the later years) in “black” / African-American “dialect.” It is composed from the perspective of “Pic,” the curiously-named “Pictorial Review ‘Pic’ Jackson,” a ten-year-old black boy from North Carolina. While Kerouac’s enormous appreciation for the cultures and contributions of African-Americans in the United States is not to be questioned, the work is largely avoided by those who wish to keep Kerouac in good standing (where you can, without fear or reprisal, mention Kerouac as among your favorite authors in polite company). While Kerouac’s vision of Pic was rendered with benign intention—he, for example (when he was working to finish "Pic" at the end of his life) would attend the baseball games of young, black children solely to investigate the “musicality” of the way they spoke to each other—it has not spared Kerouac entirely, with many critics uninterested in The Beat Generation using the mere existence of the work as a valid reason to ignore Kerouac. Luckily, if you find yourself here you are not among those impoverished souls who request the dismissal of entire bodies of work with a sneering, snooty wave of their words. Thanks to the indefatigable Brian Hassett for his 2016 piece, “Jack Kerouac’s Novella PIC Reconsidered,” for greatly informing this curation. Hardcover in unclipped dust-jacket, the First Czech Edition. Book in very fine condition with only a few minor scattered smudges to front, back covers; small bump to top right-hand corner of front cover. Dust-jacket in very fine condition with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges. Very Fine / Very Fine. [Item #4697]

Price: $55.00

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