Jack Kerouac's estate claims ownership of letter that inspired 'On The Road' - InfoNews

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Jack Kerouac's estate claims ownership of letter that inspired 'On The Road'

December 10, 2014 - 1:11 PM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Plans to auction the letter that inspired Jack Kerouac to turn "On The Road" into a literary classic have been put on hold after Kerouac's estate laid claim to the 16,000-word missive from the author's friend and literary muse, Neal Cassady.

Profiles in History spokeswoman Sabrina Propper said Wednesday the auction's house's Dec. 17 sale has been "postponed indefinitely."

She declined to elaborate but the San Francisco Chronicle quoted attorney Nick Mitrokostas as saying the Kerouac estate believes the letter is its property.

"We represent the Jack Kerouac estate with regard to this matter, but we can't comment," Lilly Bryant, communications director for Mitrokostas' Boston law firm, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Kerouac said Cassady's correspondence, nicknamed "The Joan Anderson Letter," inspired him to scrap an early version of "On The Road" and rewrite it in three weeks in his friend's fast-paced, stream-of-consciousness style.

The letter, lost for nearly 60 years, was found by LA performance artist Jean Spinosa as she went through her late father's belongings.

Kerouac scholars have for decades considered it a key missing link in his legacy.

The author himself believed it had been dropped off a houseboat in Sausalito, California, in 1955 after poet Allen Ginsberg sent it to a literary agent in hopes of having it published.

The former agent, Gerd Stern, always denied losing the letter.

"After 50 years, it's a blessing to be vindicated," he told the AP last month after it surfaced.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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