Cover

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Title Page, Other Works, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. vii-x

Though he made his reputation as a writer, it is as a psychedelic guru that Ken Kesey’s reputation largely maintains—and how one assesses Kesey as a cultural figure tends to have much to do with the amount and kind of value one recognizes in the psychedelic movement. Was it a noble experiment...

Chronology

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pp. xi-2

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Ken Kesey’s First “Trip”

Menlo Park Veterans Hospital

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pp. 3-14

Nurse: Do you have any anxiety? Or do you feel kind of excited about the idea? Could you tell me where you are?
Kesey: I feel more excited than I do anxious. I don’t feel anxious because I think the whole atmosphere pretty well stops any anxiety that you might try...

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What the Hell You Looking in Here for, Daisy Mae?

Gordon Lish

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pp. 15-28

Pasted on his typewriter, over the place where the maker’s name would appear, there’s a decalcomania that reads MOON, VIRGINIA. Under the shed which houses this typewriter and which serves as his workroom, eighteen new pups, the total offspring of two Dachshunds, raise a muted...

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Ken Kesey at N.D.E.A.

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pp. 29-38

First let me make it understood I’m not a writer. I haven’t written anything since I finished the last drafts of Notion, and I don’t honestly look to write anything else. I have a number of reasons for this. Mainly it’s because I feel like to continue writing would mean that I would be unable to continue my...

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The Evening Standard Interview: Ken Kesey

Ray Connolly

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pp. 39-42

You don’t meet too many men with the Stars and Stripes painted in enamel on their false teeth. Truth to tell Ken Kesey is the only one I know. Every time he smiles, which is pretty frequently on a good sunny day, the zip in his mouth breaks apart and his upper right incisor says a pepperminted “God...

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Once a Great Notion

Ann Arbor Argus

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pp. 43-52

Argus: You want to do an interview?
Kesey: I hate interviews. I’ll tell you about interviews. It’s like, well, there’s no such thing as an underground newspaper.
Argus: That’s true. A revolutionary newspaper, though, how’s about that?

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An Impolite Interview

Paul Krassner

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pp. 53-77

Q: Okay. Let’s start off with a simple one. How would you distinguish between freedom and insanity?
A: True freedom and sanity spring from the same spiritual well, already mixed, just add incentive. Insanity, on the other hand, is dependent on...

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Ken Kesey Summing Up the ’60s, Sizing Up the ’70s

Linda Gaboriau

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pp. 78-95

It was a long, winding path that led me Springfield, Oregon, and an “interview” with Ken Kesey. Kesey and I have a few mutual acquaintances. We were both first turned on by the government, he in the west coast scene at Stanford, and me on the east coast at Harvard. The people from those two...

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Ken Kesey: The Prince of Pranksters

Rick Saunders, Bob Nesbitt, and Vaughn Binzer

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pp. 96-100

For those of your Marijuana Monthly readers who don’t recognize the vehicle in this [picture], its name is Furthur and it belongs to Ken Kesey. For those of you who don’t know who Ken Kesey is, he’s the guy who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (and Kesey’s Garage Sale and Sometimes...

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Getting Better

John Nance, Paul Pintarich, and Sharon Wood

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pp. 101-109

Sharon Wood: Where did the title Demon Box come from?
Ken Kesey: Oh that’s been the name of this whole collection of work for a long, long time, even before I wrote the story that has that name. It is based on a notion a guy named Clark Maxwell had a hundred years ago...

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The Fresh Air Interview: Ken Kesey

Terry Gross

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pp. 110-115

Mr. KEN KESEY: Oh yeah. It’s a good book. Yeah, he’s a—Wolfe’s a genius. He did a lot of that stuff, he was only around three weeks. He picked up that amount of dialogue and verisimilitude without tape recorder, without taking notes to any extent. He just watches very carefully and remembers. But...

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Collaboration in the Writing Classroom: An Interview with Ken Kesey

Carolyn Knox-Quinn

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pp. 116-125

Last year, Ken Kesey and a group of University of Oregon graduate students collaborated on a novel during a year-long writing class. Their novel, Caverns (Viking Press, 1990), was published under the group name of U.O. Levon.
The following is an edited version of our conversation in the Keseys’...

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Comes Spake the Cuckoo

Todd Brendan Fahey

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pp. 126-134

It was just another Saturday on Ken Kesey’s farm, but it felt like Shangri-La. Some shaven-headed freak stood staring down from the rough-hewn stage, glassy-eyed and grinning through a musky amalgam of marijuana and pine, slapping a pair of spoons against his chest and thigh—a demented rhythm...

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Ken Kesey: Writing Is an Act of Performance

Dan McCue

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pp. 135-142

Even counterculture superstars have to sometimes go to the supermarket.
And so it was that Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion—not to mention the central character in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test—was in the position to literally drop everything for someone he didn’t know...

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An Interview with Ken Kesey

Matthew Rick and Mary Jane Fenex

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pp. 143-146

Ken Kesey’s sitting at a table with a stack of books beside him, and a bag of markers, pens, and rubber stamps to assist him in the project of autographing copies of Sailor Song and The Sea Lion, his two most recent works. To his side is a blonde-haired boy named Lutien, who is helping Kesey on the...

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Ken Kesey: The Art of Fiction No. 136

Robert Faggen

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pp. 147-169

At the center of Kesey’s work are what he calls “little warriors” battling large forces. Over the years, some critics have praised his work for its maverick power and themes of defiance; others have questioned his wild and paranoid vision. He has been dubbed a renegade prophet, a subversive technophile, a...

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Ken Kesey: Still on the Bus

Robert K. Elder

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pp. 170-175

Time slows you down, even if it doesn’t change you. That was what struck me most when I visited Ken Kesey for the last time in 1999. Though he had suffered a stroke eighteen months before, there were few outward indications. He couldn’t handle a pen as well, but his eyes were bright and his head...

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Ken Kesey’s Last Interview

Mike Finoia

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pp. 176-190

I met Kesey at a Phish concert in upstate New York in the summer of ’97. The Pranksters drove there in Furthur 2.0. I saw the bus from a distance and approached it in awe, like a child approaches a mall Santa Claus. And Kesey smiled and welcomed me in.
Fast-forward to senior year of college. I sold my advisor on a final project...

Index

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pp. 191-194