I can't even begin to tell you how much of an impact this mans writing had on my life. most troubled and unruly youth are at some point given "the Catcher in The Rye" to read as some sort of warning. Me I was given "The Basketball Diaries" by my uncle the late Charlie Allen from (Pacific, Gas, and Electric). I remember he gave me the book and said "good luck". At the time I had no idea what he meant.
Here is what Richard Hell posted on his blog about Jim Carroll:
Posted by: Richard Hell
Posted on: 19 Sep 2009
Someday someone will write a study comparing the meaning of what specific artists really "are" and have done with what those specific artists manage to invent as their stories for "history." It's interesting. Which of the two realities is more real? Probably the legend. Jim Carroll was one of the most egregious manipulators of his own history ever. But he had a right to make himself up making himself up. He lived on that plane of the transcendent. He was always an artist. His real readership was, his real relationship was with, eternity, and eternity admires the moves at their most encompassing. It knows that everything is true (and nothing is permitted). It doesn't get indignant. Alone with eternity, Jim is one of the most true and beautiful writers ever.
[That's what I'm going to say about Jim Carroll for the moment. I hope it doesn't come off too shady. I want to write something because I can't stop being affected by his death. My feelings about him are conflicted and I'm not up to really sorting that out now. But his death truly feels painful, and I've always known that as a poet he was the real thing, perfectly beautiful.]