There are few greater things in life than listening to a recording of Jack Kerouac speak. Today WNYC posted this old archival audio on their Facebook, a just under 7-minute speech Kerouac gave at New York's Hunter College Playhouse (sponsored by Brandeis University) in 1958, which the station notes "would turn out to be a major cultural event for the under-30 crowd of the day." He was making a rare public appearance to debate on the Beat generation. Other panelists included James A. Wechsler of the NY Post, Princeton anthropologist Ashley Montagu, and author Kingsley Amis.

There are no known transcripts of the event, but Kerouac later wrote the following based on his notes:

Much of the misunderstanding about hipsters and the Beat Generation in general today derives from the fact that there are two distinct styles of hipsterism: the cool today is your bearded laconic sage, or schlerm, before a hardly touched beer in a beatnik dive, whose speech is low and unfriendly, whose girls say nothing and wear black. The "hot" today is the crazy talkative shining eyed (often innocent and openhearted) nut who runs from bar to bar, pad to pad, looking for everybody, shouting, restless, lushy, trying to "make it" with the subterranean beatniks who ignore him. Most Beat Generation artists belong to the hot school, naturally since that hard gemlike flame needs a little heat. In many cases the mixture s 50-50. It was a hot hipster like myself who finally cooled it in Buddhist meditation, though when I go in a jazz joint I still feel like yelling, Blow baby blow! to the musicians though nowadays I'd get 86'd for this.

You can, and should, read the rest here, and in this below excerpt from WNYC's broadcast of the debate, Kerouac reads from this essay. NY Post writer Wechsler and Kerouac didn't seem to vibe though, man, and you can check out more of their banter here; Wechsler told Kerouac: "Life is complicated enough without trying to make it a poem."

While we're here, why not revisit Kerouac's appearance on the Steve Allen show a year after this debate: