Belief & Technique for Modern Prose […]

In 1958, Jack Kerouac wrote a letter to Don Allen out of which his “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose List of Essentials” was born. I’ve kept a copy of this list on me since I was in college, although I sometimes go for a time without looking at it, and my first copy–torn, bent and dripped on–has since led way to other successors.

Anyway, the list may be great fodder for prose, but it’s also good fodder for life. Not to mention a good pick-me-up when said life has jostled you around a bit.

Here are some of my favorites:

2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
4. Be in love with yr own life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming form under, crazier the better
29. Youre a Genius all the time

I’ve noticed that some of my favorites change, but these remain the token eight. Which, according to Freud, might indicate that I seek out and enjoy authenticity, living my best life, and operating in the bullshit-free zone. And that I secretly wish I had a penis. But then that’s a staple of Freudian psychoanalysis.

[LINK]: Depp does Kerouac

[Jam of the Day]: Tori Amos, Pretty Good Year

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2 responses to “Belief & Technique for Modern Prose […]

  1. 20 and 28 are my faves…always struggle with 24.
    great video…look forward to depp playing freddie mercury in the upcoming movie

  2. That’s funny; I find I often struggle with #4. I teter between being hopelessly in love my life and wondering whether the grass is greener on the other side. The upside to that is that I don’t accept the status quo. The downside is that I may overlook the great thing two inches from my face.

    Depp will be great in the Mercury movie, methinks.

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