On the Road

On the Road

The Original Scroll

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
18
2
2
 …
Rate this:
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.


Publisher: New York : Viking, 2007.
ISBN: 9780670063550
067006355X
Call Number: KEROUAC
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: Beat generation -- Fiction.
Additional Contributors: Cunnell, Howard

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

s
stewstealth
Sep 08, 2016

A stream of consciousnesses novel regarding the author's travels back and forth across America and eventually into Mexico most often with his friend Neal Cassady ( I read the original scroll version of this book which is not edited for drug use, sexuality nor were the names changed to prevent libel actions.) The characters are all flawed and in many instances not particularly likable. It would seem this was the author's intent, to show all the foibles in people. The author is a very good writer with many evocative paragraphs. Worth reading if you are interested.

x
xiaojunbpl12
May 25, 2016

Dean, the devil (vs S. Paradise's angel), driving me mad... till the end of the road/book, when I lost the grip on his soul.
Not for one who focus on pure rational description of human behavior, who is only comfortable with plain coherent form, who sticks to what should be avoided, or abide the moral standards judged by language used... not for one whose head and heart in faraway chambers.

IMolina3 Jun 25, 2015

I just watch this movie because of kristen stewart was in it..

m
MyrtleLouise
Jul 10, 2013

Well, now I at least know what all the hullabaloo is about. Interesting, but not one I would recommend.

KRockstar10 Apr 17, 2013

Couldn't get more than 50 or so pages into it. This one just wasn't for me.

j
joliebergman
Apr 17, 2013

I really wanted to like it. I had also hoped to find the characters engaging, interesting. Instead I found them irritating. I was not a fan of the overall dismissivness of poor behavior. I did not finish the book. Although, perhaps someday I will. Today is not it.

m
MCinnamon
Mar 25, 2013

Wow, I can't believe I put off reading this book for so long. I thought it was a travel book about a guy crossing the country looking for the American Dream, when in reality he finds it in everyone he meets on the way. For the main character it's depressing but if he only opened his eyes once in a while he would see it right in front of him. I loved the conscious stream of thought method that the book is written in, in other words, the fact the author was drugged up for 3 weeks and wrote this whole novel on a typewritter with no punctuation. If you enjoyed FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS or TRAINSPOTTING this is a book for you.

WGTaylor Aug 22, 2012

I *hated* this book when I first read it as a teenager - no plot, no believable charaters etc.

But I tried it about 10 years later and loved it - the language is wonderful and it succeeds in being both a realistic, yet engaging portrayal of everyday events and an enduring call towards an alternative mindset...A classic for sure (though I personally prefer The Dharma Bums.)

shoelace Nov 09, 2011

This is a story of friendship and life on the road in late 1940’s to 1950 America.

Although the moment in time, the places they pass through and people they meet are of particular cultural significance to the story of central characters Sal and Dean, the search for the big answers, passion and excitement in life are pursuits relatable to many – no matter where we live or what decade it is.

Best read with the likes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker or Tom Waits in the background!

RockTheBooks Oct 31, 2011

From what I'd heard from other readers, I was under the impression that this would be the "book of all books." Unfortunately, I found myself bored and underwhelmed. I felt like this was a sort of coming of age story, but one where none of the characters actually discover themselves. A lot of lost souls aimlessly travelling around in search of what? A whole lot of nothing apparently.

View All Comments

Summary

Add a Summary

PimaLib_WilliamB May 06, 2015

A decent but not outstanding adaptation of Kerouac's novel. This one always seemed too hard to film, and indeed, the end result isn't the best result, but seeing the characters come off the pages and alive is enjoyable and Viggo Mortensen as William S. Burroughs is a scene stealer.

PimaLib_WilliamB May 06, 2015

Kerouac wrote most of his famous book on a scroll through his typewriter so he would keep a continuous train of thought. The resulting manuscript is now available here (though, not in scroll form!) to be read as Kerouac originally wrote it, with the names of his fellow "Beat" friends and authors named. It's an exhaustive read but worth it for the fans.

Quotes

Add a Quote

s
sawing85
Jun 12, 2014

You boys going to get somewhere or just going?

j
justpooki
Mar 23, 2013

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

Age

Add Age Suitability

r
rUngrich
Feb 28, 2011

rUngrich thinks this title is suitable for 35 years and under

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GCPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top