The opening line from one of Jack Kerouac’s letters to Allen Ginsberg, written in May 1954, gives a sense of the deep friendship between these two artists and reveals the energy and flavor of this newly collected volume of their correspondence: “Dear Allen. Please be reassured, angel, I think dearly of you whenever I do think of you, which is often, as I’m sure you do think of me often and dearly, naturally, and I’m not trying to be mysterious, or quiet, or anything, but just have reached the essence center of things where nothingness resides and does quite absolutely nothing.”
At the end of one of his multipage letters to Kerouac, Ginsburg discusses mysticism, literature, history, et al., and then signs off: “See, I have without planning, spent hours writing you. I hereby present them to you as a gift, free. No strings. Allen.”
This volume of Ginsberg-Kerouac letters will add to the growing posthumous reputation of the Beat Generation writers. I suggest that you spend a few of your own hours with these two—an inspirational and heartwarming gift to yourself. No strings.