My well-thumbed Signet edition of Kerouac’s On the Road will probably fall apart when next read and it is close to time to re-read this dazzling burst of adrenaline that fired so many, many years ago.
T’m going to wait until next year to read this story again and I’ll leave the old Signet edition on the shelf. Instead I’m going to buy the unedited scroll version that will be released next year!
…Kerouac wrote his breakthrough novel “On the Road” in a three-week frenzy of creativity in spring 1951, typing the story without paragraphs or page breaks onto a 119-foot scroll of nearly translucent paper.
n fact, the Lowell native revised the book many times before it was published six years later, and while the scroll came to symbolize the spontaneity of the Beat Generation, the early, unedited version of the novel never reached the public.
Now, in time to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the version of “On the Road” that Kerouac wrote on the scroll will be published next year in book form for the first time, said John Sampas of Lowell, the executor of the writer’s literary estate and the brother of his third wife, Stella. It will include some sections that had been cut from the novel because of references to sex or drugs.
The scroll contains numerous passages that were edited out of the book and uses the original names of characters who were closely modeled on friends of Kerouac, including fellow writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg.
This is a must read for anyone who participated in or is interested in the culture that spawned the Beat Generation, the sixties, great music and much, much more.
Hey, Cassidy will be at the wheel!