(chapbook jointly released by Counter Culture Chronicles & Casioli Press, 2020)
Gregory Stephenson’s essay Pity and Terror: Jack Kerouac on Nosferatu has now been published jointly by Counter Culture Chronicles and Casioli Press, The Hague. The essay has Kerouac’s relatively unknown notes on F.W. Murnau’s expressionist 1922 film Nosferatu as a subject. Kerouac wrote the notes at the invitation of the New York Film Society, who screened a series of films in the winter of 1960-61. Dan Talbot, one of the organisers of the series of screenings later recalled: “I think what happened was that we told Kerouac which pictures we were going to play in the series and offered to have him choose one he would want to write about. I screened Nosferatu for him well in advance; he came at midnight with a gang of friends, screend it, and then wrote his notes”. Kerouac’s piece was subsequently published as a handout during the public screening of the film and later appeared in print in several other publications. In his interesting essay Stephenson expertly analyses Kerouac’s style and use of language in the latter’s odd piece of prose and concludes that it “can be seen to resonate with the larger body of his work and to disclose dimensions of style and meaning which are not perhaps immediately apparent. Minor though the Nosferatu piece is, it gives evidence of the generosity of spirit, lively mind and large heart of this vital writer”.