New Arrival

‘I do not want to be misquoted’

Typed Letter, signed (“John Kerouac”), to Allen Ginsberg and A.A. Wyn of Ace Books re: Junkie.

New York: 21 February 1953.

Price: $15,000.00


About the item

22 lines. 1 vols. 4to. ‘I do not want to be misquoted’. Old folds, some toning.

Item #367091

At the threshold of celebrity, Kerouac writes his friend Allen Ginsberg and Ace Books distancing himself from the forthcoming paperback original publication of William Burroughs’ first novel, Junkie, published under the pseudonym William Lee. Through Carl Solomon, Ginsberg knew A. A. Wyn, who picked up Junkie but declined to publish Kerouac.

“I do not want my real name used in conjunction with habit forming drugs while a pseudonym conceals the real name of the author thus protecting him from prosecution but not myself … I do not want The Town and the City mentioned in juxtaposition to Go … I deny permission to place my name next to Clellon Holmes as a co-expert on the Beat Generation. Especially I do not want to be misquoted as saying that I ‘dig the pseudonymous William Lee as one of the key figures of the Beat Generation.’ … Yours most respectfully and strictly business, John Kerouac”

AN EXCELLENT LETTER FROM KEROUAC TO GINSBERG AT THE DAWN OF THE BEAT ERA.