Jimmy Breslin on Kerouac: Get Him a Box of Periods!

Categories: Follow-Up

Yesterday's Clip Job (an excerpt every day from the Voice archives) featured a dispatch from a writer by the name of James Breslin who chronicled Jack Kerouac's visit to Brooklyn College in March of 1958. Curious as to whether this Breslin was the Pulitzer Prize-winner who later wrote under the byline Jimmy Breslin, I asked the Voice's Tom Robbins about it. And he put in a call to the man himself.

It's not the same Breslin. But, as you might have guessed, Jimmy had a little something to say about Jack:

"It is not me. I knew Kerouac he lived in Richmond Hill, on 134th, near 101st.... The Philadelphia Inquirer, gave him the whole roll of UPI [teletype] paper so he could just keep typing. I should've given him a fucking box of periods. Taught a whole generation how to write run-on sentences. A disgrace!"

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I suspect that the James Breslin who wrote this piece about Kerouac was the late James E.B. Breslin, UC Berkeley English Prof, author of Mark Rothko, a biography (1993), acclaimed by Hilton Kramer in a NY TImes Book Review as the "best life of an American artist ever written." Jim attended Brooklyn College and wrote for the Voice at the time the Kerouac article was written. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/15/us/james-eb-breslin-60-poetry-professor-dies.html

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