- Title Pages
- A Prologue
- Chapter 1 A Usable Past
- Chapter 2 The Magic of Words
- Chapter 3 Whatever World There Would Be
- Chapter 4 The Stale Bread of Dedication
- Chapter 5 A Weekend in July
- Chapter 6 A Kind of Beatness
- Chapter 7 Neal & Co.
- Chapter 8 This Particular Kind of Madness
- Chapter 9 Angelic Visions
- Chapter 10 In the Temple of the Gods
- Chapter 11 A Torrent of Words
- Chapter 12 The Liveitup Kid
- Chapter 13 Perfect Fools
- Chapter 14 The Rising Tide of Fame
- Chapter 15 What Am I Doing Here?
- Chapter 16 The Horn
- Chapter 17 Too-Late Words
- Chapter 18 A Sweet Attention
- Chapter 19 To the Edge of Eros
- Chapter 20 Gypsying
- Chapter 21 A Turn of the Circle
- Chapter 22 Gone in October
- Chapter 23 On a Porch in Boulder
- Chapter 24 Final Chorus
Gone in October
Gone in October
- (p.371) Chapter 22 Gone in October
- University Press of Mississippi
On October 21, 1969, Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida at the age of forty-seven after undergoing extensive abdominal surgery for hemorrhaging esophageal varices—a result of his alcoholism. Although John Clellon Holmes did not think his friend would live much beyond forty, he was shocked upon hearing the news on the radio. At the time of his death, Kerouac had been working on the book The Beat Spotlight. His body was taken to his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts. After the funeral, Holmes wrote an essay titled “Gone in October,” one of his most sensitive prose pieces about Kerouac. He also traveled to Los Angeles to renew his sense of the city and began work on two novels. Holmes failed to find a publisher for his collection of essays about his trip to Europe in the fall of 1967, but had considerable success selling individual essays to the magazines. Having lost some of his interest in establishing a career as novelist due to Kerouac’s death, Holmes turned to poetry again.
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