The Village Voice. Jack Kerouac, Daniel Wolf, Fred McDarrah, Vivian Gornick, photos, contributor.

The Village Voice. Vol. XIV, No. 55. Thursday, October 30, 1969

New York: The Village Voice, Inc., 1969. Tabloid, publisher's photo-illustrated newsprint.

"(warmth, regret, a patronizing curiosity, an obscure kind of longing to pay homage)": October 30, 1969 issue of the Village Voice, the country's original alternative newspaper, founded in 1955 as a platform for downtown New York's creative community. With articles, reviews, cartoons, and opinion pieces by regular columnists and contributors such as A.D. Coleman, Charles Marowitz, Mike Zwerin, R. Crumb, Jonas Mekas, and others. Featured on the front page (below the fold) is an obituary for Jack Kerouac by quintessential New York writer Vivian Gornick. Father of the Beats, and reluctant godfather of the countercultural movement of the 60s, Kerouac died on October 21st, 1969 from a massive hemorrhage at only 47 years of age. His funeral was held in Lowell, Massachusetts, in a church where Kerouac had briefly been an altar boy. The crowd was distinctively divided between creative compatriots such as Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, John Clellon Holmes, and Gregory Corso (who chanted Om around his casket) and his enormous French Catholic family. Gornick’s front-page report was her first assignment as a working journalist, and the article that cemented her position as a regular contributor to the Voice, along with founding editor Dan Wolf’s glowing stamp of approval. The piece shows Gornick's probing eye at its best, written with the slow-burning elegance and clarity she later became famous for. Moving from observation to evaluation, she paints a vivid picture of the event, describing the church procession and motley cast of characters who attended all while conveying her admiration for the lost literary legend. Notably, Gornick met Ginsberg for the first time at the funeral. She would later explore his work in an essay from her collection The Men of My Life (2008). Folded horizontally. Age-toning to newsprint, light edgewear. Very good. Item #4686