Neal Cassady’s long lost “Joan Anderson letter” is found!!

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Jerry Cimino, Director of the Beat Museum. Image courtesy of The Beat Museum

Hoarders have been vindicated! The long lost letter of Neal Cassady has been found!! The letter would have ended up in the trash if it weren’t for Jack Spinosa, of West Hollywood. When his neighbor, of Golden Goose Press, was forced to move out of his office building, he started throwing everything away. Spinosa felt bad that people’s writing was just being trashed and saved boxes he never looked at. He kept them in his home without reviewing anything. The letter was discovered two years ago by his daughter, Jean Spinosa when she was cleaning out her father’s home. She found an envelope marked A. Ginsberg and initially there was some confusion as her father shares the same first name as Kerouac. She didn’t understand why Allen Ginsberg would be writing to her father. After reading a few pages she realized it was from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac. She began her research and realized what she found when she read the Paris Review interview with Kerouac. In it, he describes the letter and credits it with the basis of style for On the Road and describes a small drawing of a window. Continue reading →

Creating the Mythology of Neal Cassady—Jack Kerouac’s On the Road: The Original Scroll


On the Road, the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac, Beat, Beat Generation, Neal Cassady, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg

On the Road is about Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac driving across country, searching for something. It’s about their relationship with each other and the rest of the world. And it’s also about how Jack defines himself in relation to Neal and society. Jack Kerouac consciously creates a mythology through story, thought, and dialogue. Jack writes for a literary audience and to define his place in society. He uses Neal to both reflect and define himself. Jack likes the idea of being seen as a madman, he wants to be perceived as an outsider to society, to be aligned with alcoholic hobos, and defined as a hoodlum. He sees himself as an outsider that is too intelligent and wild to be understood by the common man. Continue reading →

Lu Ann Cassidy: on the road, looking for a better life

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Having been a fan of the Beat generation for years, I’ve read and explored and reread and revisited their writing. I started of course, with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. I slowly made my way through all of his books. I read William Burroughs. I read some Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg. I backtracked to Kerouac. And then I wondered about the women in their lives. What did they do? How did they deal with these men? Continue reading →