Kerouac Unsealed

Over a million previously sealed documents in The National Archives will be made available to the public this Saturday. The National Personnel Records Center near St. Louis, Missouri will highlight the files of prominent people who served in the military — such as John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson and Jack Kerouac. According to the Associated Press story:

Writer Jack Kerouac, who enlisted in the Navy, was confined to a military hospital for a period in 1943 while psychiatrists tried to determine if he had a mental disorder.

“Patient’s father, Leo A. Kerouac states that his son has been `boiling’ for a long time,” one entry notes.

Another reads: “Without any particular training or background, this patient, just prior to his enlistment, enthusiastically embarked upon the writing of novels. He sees nothing unusual in this activity.”

9 Responses

  1. Crazier than a shithouse
    Crazier than a shithouse rat…

    Novel writing was the least of his eccentricities. The boy needed a good plate of eggs & bacon, and to stop hanging around with that furtive-ass poet friend of his.

  2. Uh-oh, the writing of novels
    Uh-oh, the writing of novels without “any particular training or background” seems like we’re all screwed, along with like Hemingway, Wolfe, Fitzgerald, & EVERY OTHER WRITER who ever wanted to write!

  3. Yeah, hasn’t the Navy heard
    Yeah, hasn’t the Navy heard of “on the job” training?

  4. take a long yard lookBobby
    take a long yard look

    Bobby Kaufman(poet) was in the merchent
    marines, his good friend Harry(poet)
    Monroe, was also in the merchant
    marines, he told me many stories
    about being on boats and drinking
    whiskey, anyway, Harry was a pisces
    a water sign, as was Jack Kerouac,

    something about water, and poets
    and writers, and the drink,
    me thinks, Philip Lamantia(poet) was
    a scorpio, another water sign,
    but he was more a land person,
    so maybe that’s why he never wrote
    any novels, i don’t know, my poet
    mentor was a pisces and a surfer
    too, he was always writing the great
    novel, and was a poet, he always was
    telling me to “write a novel”

    i’m a virgo with a scorpio rising,
    my creative energy is going toward
    my opposite sign, because of my north node, which is of course
    pisces,i finally wrote a novel.

    i was listening to Jack Kerouac read
    his poetry the other day on a web site that has his recorded poems…

    damn, it just blows me away…
    his language just oozes with wonder
    and experience, wide-eyed and so
    liquid, it just flows, maaan.

  5. He sees nothing unusual in
    He sees nothing unusual in that?

    Well that shows he was mentally unstable. You cannot just start writing without a certificate or something giving you permission to create, can you? What if everyone did that? We might have….more good books?

    Seriously, what scares the daylights out of me is the person who wrote the evaluation saw nothing unusual about thinking you could not just devote your life to literature without someone’s permission or stamp of approval; AND most people still think this way. I am reminded of the blurb I read once in a psychology book in which it defined a particular disorder as the condition one has if one is overly concerned about questions of right and wrong, and how to live. Here again, the business of psychology comes up with a strange idea, namely that there are things we should be much more concerned about than questions of right and wrong and living the proper life.

  6. Excellent point about the way
    Excellent point about the way psychologists think. They would have us not worry about anything as long as we pay them for the happy pills.

  7. I’m a Gemini and I write
    I’m a Gemini and I write short stories. Every now and then my twin writes poetry. But it’s not really my twin, it’s me. But when I write poetry, my twin sometimes writes short stories. I was in the Navy and I am fascinated by the vastness of the ocean, but I prefer to be on dry land. I mean, my twin is fascinated by the ocean. But it’s really me.

  8. I’m a scorpio who almost
    I’m a scorpio who almost joined the navy, although I had my first beer on a submarine. I wanted to be a poet but realized I could write fiction better, and at least more fiction writers make a living than poets. Is that the same?

  9. to Billectric; what can i
    to Billectric; what can i say
    Dylan is a triple gemini, i believe,
    gemini prolly can communicate the
    complex through the most quickest route.

    to jymwrite: yea, scorpio gets to the
    bottom of the mystery; through living
    it, if they servive the first sub ride intact.ha.

    Philip Lamantia; embodies the marvelous mystery for me, i first
    came across his poetry at a party
    at a woman’s house that had met him
    personaly, i was just floored by his
    words that night for some reason, my
    poet surfer buddy also knew Philip, i met Rik soon after i found the book of poems by Philip.How scorpioanic is that? later we went
    to see Lamantia read in San Francisco, and i met him, and saw him several times since.Rik was my mentor for some years, but Philip
    initiated me.

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