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Beat memorabilia auctioned

Beat gen writers's works's auction raises $225,000 to benefit a publisher left homeless by Katrina.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 15:23 IST

An auction of first-edition books, handwritten manuscripts and letters by Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski has raised $225,000 (€188,774) to benefit a publisher left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans resident Edwin Blair, 69, said Thursday he reluctantly agreed to auction the items he had been collecting for 40 years as a way to help his friends, Gypsy Lou Webb and her husband, Jon, who published some of Bukowski's earliest works. One of the auction's rarest items, an autographed 1960 first pressing of Charles Bukowski's Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail, sold for $9,775 (€8,201), the highest bid of the day. Other items that drew aggressive bidding included a first edition pressing of Ginsberg's Howl inscribed by the author, which fetched $7,475 (€6,271); two typed letters from Bukowski that went for $4,025 (€3,377); and a 1945 photo of Hal Chase, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs together at Columbia University that sold for $7,745 (€6,498).

Blair more than quadrupled the$50,000 (€41,950) he hoped to raise to help pay the Webbs' living expenses after their home was destroyed in the hurricane.

"She's in her 80s now and was going to be living in a trailer after the storm," said Blair. "That just ain't right."

First Published: Mar 11, 2006 13:56 IST