Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.
Read more
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.


From the iconic New York Times–bestselling author of On the Road: Three revolutionary collections of poetry in one volume.

Rebelling against the dry rules and literary pretentiousness he perceived in early twentieth-century poetry, Jack Kerouac pioneered a poetic style informed by oral tradition and driven by concrete language with neither embellishment nor abstraction. In these three groundbreaking collections, the legendary Beat writer offers a spontaneous, uncensored perspective on everything from religion to the structure of language itself.
 
Scattered Poems: Bringing together selections from literary journals and his private notebooks, Scattered Poems exemplifies Kerouac’s innovative approach to language. Populated by hitchhikers, Chinese grocers, Buddhist saints, and cultural figures from Rimbaud to Harpo Marx, the poems evoke the primal and the sublime, the everyday and the metaphysical.
 
The Scripture of the Golden Eternity: During an unexplained fainting spell, Kerouac experienced a flash of enlightenment. A student of Buddhist philosophy, he recognized the experience as “satori,” a moment of life-changing epiphany. The knowledge he gained in that instant is expressed in this volume of sixty-six prose poems with language that is both precise and cryptic, mystical and plain. His vision proclaims, “There are not two of us here, reader and writer, but one golden eternity.”
 
Old Angel Midnight: A spontaneous writing project in the form of an extended prose poem, this sonorous and spiritually playful book is one of Kerouac’s most boldly experimental works. Collected from five notebooks dating from 1956 to 1959—a time in which Kerouac was immersed in Buddhist theory—Old Angel Midnight captures the rhythms of the universe and secrets of the subconscious with stunning linguistic dexterity.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.