A mini-exhibit about Jack Kerouac will be on view March 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Wilson Special Collections Library at UNC. Jack Kerouac: “Thomas Wolfean Youth . . . French-Canadian Family Heart” will feature original manuscripts, photographs, and first editions from the Rare Book Collection.
The items will be on view in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room in conjunction with the lecture “Kerouac, Quebec, and the French Language” by journalist and filmmaker Gabriel Anctil. The free public talk, sponsored by UNC’s Department of Romance Languages, will begin in the assembly room at 4 p.m..
A screening of One Fast Move or I’m Gone: Kerouac’s Big Sur, a 2008 documentary by Curt Worden, will take place at 8 p.m. in Howell Hall, room 104.
The mini-exhibit will feature materials highlighting the French-language background of Kerouac, as well as the influence of his literary hero, Thomas Wolfe (UNC ’20). Included will be:
- A first edition and advance proofs of Kerouac’s first novel, The Town and the City, with a letter by the publishers touting Kerouac as “one of the most exciting new talents to come to American readers since Thomas Wolfe.”
- An Allen Ginsberg photograph of Kerouac with writer William Burroughs. The photograph caption gives the exhibit its subtitle.
- A first edition of Kerouac’s second novel, On the Road.
Some of the photographs and documents on view come from the Edie Parker Kerouac and Henri Cru Papers in the Rare Book Collection. Cru was a lifelong friend of Kerouac and introduced him to Parker, who became Kerouac’s first wife. Cru was the model for Remi Boncoeur in On the Road.
For information about the Rare Book Collection and its Kerouac holdings, contact Claudia Funke, curator of rare books at (919) 962-1143.
For information about the March 19 lecture and film, contact Hassan Melehy, Department of Romance Languages.
- Celebrate Jack Kerouac (event information from the Department of Romance Languages)
- Edie Parker Kerouac and Henri Cru Papers finding aid(Rare Book Collection)
- The Beats and Beyond, Counterculture Poetry, 1950-1975 (2008 Rare Book Collection exhibit)
- Jack Kerouac: The Road Revisited (2005 Rare Book Collection exhibit)