[Newport, RI: S.i., 1943]. An early, lyrical, and autobiographical prose piece by Kerouac on hitch-hiking out of New York to his native New England. Written while Kerouac was convalescing in the mental ward of the Naval hospital in Newport, RI, while he was enlisted in the Navy; he was hospitalized several times during his short military career, due to his rejection of authority and lack of discipline, eventually diagnosed as schizophrenic and released with an honorable discharge. His rambling spirit and desire to "get on the road" is evident throughout the text, as is his concern for concrete detail: "New York: at night. The lovely symphony of 7 million egos, clashing. Reminiscings. Nostalgia, fear, hope. Music, and the saccharine odor of Times Square. Pegged trousers, broad-brimmed hats in Harlem. Sedate Park Avenue, and the people inside its apartments...I remember New York at night, New York in the daytime on a 5th Ave. bus, second deck. New York at high noon...New York at twilight, and the melancholia of ship's whistles on the harbor...New York at sunrise in Central Park, after a long night of intellectual talk, and the pastel tint on the towers of Manhattan...The city at night, and the city at sunrise. The sadness of man, and the joy of man. That's the way i think as i await the hospitality of New York, pouring out of New York and headed for picturesque New England, my home." Unpublished; we note a photocopy of this typescript held with Kerouac's papers at NYPL. Provenance: Through the trade, from John Sampas, Kerouac's brother-in-law and executor of his estate from the early 1990's-2017. Item #4337
Original typed manuscript (unfinished) on four leaves of U.S. Army stationary (rectos), with holograph note in Kerouac's hand at upper right corner of title leaf: "Writte in the Madhouse." Mild handling, with wear and staple holes at upper left corners; Very Good+.