On the Road

The Original Scroll

Kerouac, Jack

(Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
On the Road
The legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road , published word for word as Kerouac originally composed it Though Jack Kerouac began thinking about the novel that was to become On the Road as early as 1947, it was not until three weeks in April 1951, in an apartment on West Twentieth Street in Manhattan, that he wrote the first full draft that was satisfactory to him. Typed out as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120 foot scroll, this document is among the most significant, celebrated, and provocative artifacts in contemporary American literary history. It represents the first full expression of Kerouac's revolutionary aesthetic, the identifiable point at which his thematic vision and narrative voice came together in a sustained burst of creative energy. It was also part of a wider vital experimentation in the American literary, musical, and visual arts in the post-World War II period. It was not until more than six years later, and several new drafts, that Viking published, in 1957, the novel known to us today. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of On the Road , Viking will publish the 1951 scroll in a standard book format. The differences between the two versions are principally ones of significant detail and altered emphasis. The scroll is slightly longer and has a heightened linguistic virtuosity and a more sexually frenetic tone. It also uses the real names of Kerouac's friends instead of the fictional names he later invented for them. The transcription of the scroll was done by Howard Cunnell who, along with Joshua Kupetz, George Mouratidis, and Penny Vlagopoulos, provides a critical introduction that explains the fascinating compositional and publication history of On the Road and anchors the text in its historical, political, and social context. @Didn'tTypeOnTP! For TWITTERATURE of On the Road by Jack Kerouac, please see On the Road by Jack Kerouac. From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2007
ISBN: 067006355X
Branch Call Number: FICTION KEROUAC
Characteristics: 408 p. ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Cunnell, Howard


From Library Staff

Join the discussion on July 13, 2015. The bible of the Beat Generation, the essential prose accompaniment to Allen Ginsberg's “Howl.” While it stunned the public and literary establishment when it was published in 1957, it is now recognized as an American classic.

The classic tale in it's original format.

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Feb 10, 2010
  • darcycote rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If you are wondering, What's the point of releasing the same book but with no paragraphs? If you are a Kerouac fan this is must read (or re-read) as this version is how Kerouac originally wrote the book with the characters' real life names and unedited in which includes things that were removed which may have been considered too racy or even more controversial in the day.

As big fan, it was fun to read this book and refer back to the original.


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