May 22 1951

[Richmond Hill]

Dear Neal,

Want you to know I didn’t ask Allen to write you a letter about “your doom” and that in fact my book about you is not about your doom but about your life and I know your life in many respects better than Allen does… not sluffing Allen but I was worried you might get wrong impression of what I was writing. From Apr. 2 to Apr. 22 I wrote 125,000 [word] full-length novel averaging 6 thous. devoted to Victoria, Gregor, girls, weed, etc. Story deals with you and me and the road… how we met 1947, early days; Denver 47 etc.; 1949 trip in Hudson; that summer in queer Plymouth and 110-mi-an-hour Caddy and Chi and Detroit; and final trip to Mexcity with Jeffries–last part dealing with your last trip to N.Y. and how I saw you cuttin around corner of 7th Ave. last time. (Night of Henri Cru and concert.) Plot, if any, is devoted to your development from young jailkid of early days to later (present) W.C. Fields saintliness… step by step in all I saw. Book marks complete departure from Town & City and in fact from previous American Lit. I don’t know how it will be received. If it goes over (Giroux waiting to see it) then you’ll know yourself what to do with your own work… blow and tell all. I’ve telled all the road now. Went fast because the road is fast… wrote whole thing on strip of paper 120 foot long (tracing paper that belonged to Cannastra.)–just rolled it through typewriter and in fact no paragraphs… rolled it out on floor and it looks like a road. Now Neal I want to tell you–your doom is of no concern to me simply because I don’t think you’re doomed at all and in fact I expect your soul to get wilder and wilder as you grow older till at ninety you will be a great white-haired saint even if a “blank” brakeman (Allen’s wds.) Fuck it, in fact you know you will wind up in Mexico with your family if you have any sense… but even if you don’t… It’s not your doom; I been worrying all day that Allen mad you sad; made you say about blind-spots cock cancers and what not. Another thing: pay no attention, partially, to material of last January dealing with Virgin Mary girls… cunt is all and I know it. I don’t harken back to Black Christ Cunt at all… I know cunt is all, I live cunt and always will and always have… saying this to assure you I don’t renounce the one thing you hold dear but hold it as dear. To forestall, therefore, this psychological development in your brain possibly… “Jack wrote about Virgin girls… now he has turned on me and spells my doom.” All Allen’s own mind. I believe in your energy, your loves, your greatness, your final and magnificent grandness like Whitman’s and I believe in your LIVING and not your DYING (I’m not a Cannastra, a Ginsberg, a Carr). I believe in everything about you except you dying and if you die I won’t know what to do with myself in this world, in the special compartment which is reserved for you, the other reserved for Joan. I love you as ever and not only that I don’t want you to die. Clear? And I love Carolyn and I love your children and I love women and I love life and celebrate and believe and let’s hear no more and this is the way I’ll be till ninety.

If book sells, I get advance immediately, June, and take off at once for Mexico, bus, things slow freight, arriving Mexcity, look for cheap pad, settling down temporarily till other developments and other books (will now write all my books in twenty days.) Of course since Apr. 22 I’ve been typing and revising. Thirty days on that. Will be my routine… starting with my own life, pure aspects, no fiction, till I can invent like a Dostoevsky and of course I know how and can and will. As for you, don’t wanta hear another word about your inability to decide whether to say “although” or “till” or “rather” or such shit in front of a sentence… How many times do I have to tell you the letter about Joan Anderson is an American masterpiece and so are you leaving it to ME to sweat to publish it. Now you also know why I haven’t written lately–novelwork–and soon as I finish I write you huge letter telling EVERYTHING about N.Y. Jerry Newman gossip, etc. All. Don’t have to write back–let me write our letters.


P.S. I was waiting to finish my book to write you & surprise you.