Carolyn Kellogg excerpts a letter Jack Kerouac wrotes in 1961 which was auctioned off last Monday at Bonhams and Butterfield:
I can just see the shabby literary man carrying a "bulging briefcase" rushing from one campus to another, one lecture club to another, nodding confirmation with his hosts that he is right, hurrying to the next town ... a whole gray career of proving himself to others, to as many as can hear him, that he was right ... till finally people say: "Here comes the self-prover again, O dear ... bring out the papers and the canapes."
This my friend is what I will become if I accept all lecture offers, TV appearances, radio interviews and start arranging with reviewers and critics who want information and my books through me, a great long lifetime in a briefcase proving my work and my work itself stopped dead at the level where I took to proving myself. So, I say, life is too sweet to waste on self propaganda, I quit self promotion, I enter my page.
The longer I live, the more I feel this way too.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.