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Collected Letters, 1944-1967 [Anglais] [Broché]

Neal Cassady , Carolyn Cassady

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Description de l'ouvrage

25 janvier 2005

“Dave Moore's work on this collection is simply awesome....  It should become and remain the definitive reference book for Beat scholars forever.” —Carolyn Cassady

Neal Cassady is best remembered today as Jack Kerouac’s muse and the basis for the character “Dean Moriarty” in Kerouac’s classic On The Road, and as one of Ken Kesey’s merriest of Merry Pranksters, the driver of the psychedelic bus “Further,” immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. This collection brings together more than two hundred letters to Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, and other Beat generation luminaries, as well as correspondence between Neal and his wife, Carolyn. These amazing letters cover Cassady’s life between the ages of 18 and 41 and finish just months before his death in February 1968. Brilliantly edited by Dave Moore, this unique collection presents the “Soul of the Beat Generation” in his own words—sometimes touching and tender, sometimes bawdy and hilarious.  Here is the real Neal Cassady—raw and uncut.


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Biographie de l'auteur

Neal Cassady (1926–1968) was born on the side of the road in Salt Lake City and raised in Denver by an alcoholic father. On a trip to New York City in 1946, he encountered Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg on the campus of Columbia University, a meeting many consider the beginning of the Beat movement.


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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
14 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lost Beat Literature 22 janvier 2005
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Neal Cassady is better known as the inspiration for the driver/companion Dean Moriarty in "On the Road", Cody in "Visions of Cody" and the real life driver of the next genration in "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test". Other than "The First Third" published by City Lights many years ago there is little actually written by this fascinating personality. These letters are give a good idea of the style of speaking, writing and living (good and bad) that touched so many people and crossed between the generations of the beats and the hippies.

Not always inspired, sometimes pedestrian, Cassady's voice is always compelling. This book is essential reading for fan's of the beats and should be on the bookshelf along with the letters of Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. Fans of Ken Kesey, Ed McClanahan, Larry McMurtry, Gurney Norman, the Grateful Dead, etc. will appreciate this book as well.

It is sad to read how often Cassady talks of writing a new book when you know that he never really get around to doing it but, in a sense, he lived a life which became a part of many books. In that sense, as an inspiration, a many faceted character he is very much a part of literature and this will add deservingly to this recognition.
19 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A mediocre book about a fascinating character 3 avril 2006
Par Mike Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Jack Kerouac is a great writer, who wrote some great books. Neal Cassady is the energetic, life-filled hero of many of them, including "On the Road," in which Neal is represented as "Dean Moriarty."

Tom Wolfe is another great writer, who wrote the amazing "Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," in which Neal is also a prominent character, this time the driver of a psychedelic busful of hippies.

In these books, and in others, Neal Cassady stands out distinctly as a fascinating character worthy of study--a man with an almost bottomless manic energy, the sex drive of a large crowd, and a penchant for joyriding in stolen cars.

This book here, however, goes a little deeper, is a little more personal, and as a result, damages many of the romantic illusions that have been built around his character.

This is Neal's life in his own words, in words from letters meant only for his friends and lovers and family, not for the public. There is some dishonesty here, but still it's very intimate, and very disclosing.

This book shows the sides of Neal that were often downplayed in books about him, sides that would have made him a much less sympathetic character: the neglectful way he treated and cast aside his wives and children, the almost psychopathic detachment from the crimes he committed and the women he used, the anger and the bitterness over his lot in life, the general disloyalty, the pathetically unsuccessful attempts at trying to be a writer, and the transparent tries to make his often empty life seem more significant than it was and his often horrible choices seem less like choices and more like fate.

All that would be fine however, if he had only been a better writer. As it is, the book is still a fairly compelling read that will keep you turning the pages and keep you interested. But the writing is typical. Average. Drug-addled. Bland.

He never had the discpline to cultivate what talent he may have had, and it shows.

This is a book to read to acquaint yourself better with Neal Cassady the character...if you want to. Unfortunately, along the way, you'll have to get a bit involved with Neal Cassady the writer.

He's certainly no Kerouac, even if he did help to inspire his style.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Elementary my dear Moriarty....... 11 février 2005
Par Kerouac fan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
>

>

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Now's your chance.......

Read between the lines of what Jack Kerouac

was saying in On the Road, or at least get closer

to his hero Dean Moriarty (real name Neal Cassady).

This book officially published this winter in the

USA and available on import in the UK is a

CAUSE CELEBRE of the Beat World. Possibly

the best Beat read you'll have had since On the Road.

Neal Cassady's Letters - produced by Carolyn

Cassady and others, brilliantly edited (and that

doesn't mean cut) by Beat authority Dave Moore.

Having read On the Road we think we know it all?

We don't know half of it. Neal's Letters flesh out

the legend. For instance they show the married side

of Neal with intimate letters between himself and

Carolyn, something On the Road barely touches on.

They reveal the extent of the 'manage a trois' which

existed between Neal, Carolyn and Jack.

You want something even spicier? Try the long letter

to Alan Ginsberg starting on p.199 ...or Diana's note

on Neal p.142-143, or Neal's outrageous letter starting

p.327 and you'll see why Neal Cassady joins The

Marquis de Sade, Casanova, and Rasputin as

a sexual enchanter.

Bristolian Dave Moore's meticulous annotation and footnotes

link the letters, explain them, and make a narrative of them.

They prove Neal an engaging writer who's free-form

style inspired Kerouac in his genius to make

a prose-poem of the tale.

It's not difficult to see why Kerouac and his muse have

been down-graded over the years, and even vilified.

There's enough work here for a thousand sociologists.

At a time when, here in Britain, Jamaican men are

being persuaded to change their `out husband' lifestyle

and settle down with their wives and the children they

father, Neal Cassady epitomised the very life style

they're eschewing becoming the `white negro' of

Kerouac's classic, not only in terms of jazz music

and pot, but also adopting the black male role of

sex-object and stud.

No wonder the media wants to play him down - the

man who hitched a train and threw a generation off the rails.

As Joe Strummer said: "When we first read On

the Road we weren't digging Kerouac's prose - we

wanted to be like Dean Moriarty". He ended his life

as only a man like that can - broken and crying on

a railway line in Mexico.

Saint or sinner? Looser or winner? As the man who

straddled 100 women and Kerouac's prose makes

his literary debut - you make up your mind!
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Cassady fans rejoice! 10 août 2005
Par Jack Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Neal Cassady fans rejoice! This is the book you've been waiting a long, long time for. If Neal has captured your imagination (he's certainly captured mine) surely you've been frustrated about how little information there is about him. Yes, he's Dean Moriarty, Cody Pomeray, Speed Limit, and Cowboy Neal. He even wrote an (labored, as you'll discover) autobiography, "First Third". But, in a way, none of it prepares you for these collected letters because it's within them that we get to see the many sides of the Neal Cassady legend, primarily in his own words.

The two aspects I enjoyed most about this book were his hopes to be a family man and his desire to be an author, favorite aspects I suppose because that's not how I saw him previously. He tried hard to be a good husband and father but his muse wouldn't let him. And in these letters you see the creative, free-wheeling writing ability he was capable of but just couldn't get together in book form. Kerouac credits Neal for inspiring the style he'd develope for "On the Road" and on, and throughout the 50's encourages him to continue his writing.

The bulk of this collection dates before 1957, before the publication of "On the Road" and the whole beat sensation. In that regard it's very special to have the inside look at these letters which at the time of their composition no one would have had the faintest clue would be published. These are letters between friends, aspiring artists and lovers when there was no email and long distance phone calls were a luxury. Neal's writing was sometimes pedestrian but at other times it would soar, making clear why Ginsburg, Kerouac, etc argued he was the greatest writer of the group.

The editor Dave Moore does a wonderful job bringing continuity to the letters with his commentary throughout the book. He connects the dots where needed providing necessary back-story in an unabtrusive manner.

One complaint I do have about the book is that during the 60's the quantity of letters seriously drops off. He wrote less and less or the letters are lost or both, but it does leave a hole in Neal's story. As a result we miss out, in his words, on his life as he transitions from the beat generation to the hippie generation.

I have come to some new conclusions of my own about Neal, as will any reader. There is room for more writing on this most facsinating subject (esp his life in the 60's--why, he even lived with the Grateful Dead at their famed 710 Ashbury residence during the Haight's blossoming) but "Selected Letters" fills a huge void.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Beat Hero In His Own Words (for once) 16 mai 2006
Par missed - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Neal Cassady was, for most of his adult life, a prolific writer, spreading his hep words to the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Bill Burroughs, and other beat writers who used Neal as the star of many of their works (especially K). Cassady is a born storyteller, as is evidenced by his energetic and exciting letters; however, it becomes evident that he is not a born writer, and as exciting as his letters are, they say quite little. Regardless, it is obvious how Cassady became a new archetype of American modern literature, and fans of the Beats would be remiss not to check out this wee tome. Note that after his imprisonment for distributing "tea" the volume drops off considerably. Was it prison, life or LSD that lessened the latent genius' writing? We'll never know.
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