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Nobody Reads, Nobody Scrolls, Except For Jack

On The Road

There was a nice appreciation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road by Luc Sante in Sunday’s NY Times. I haven’t read it in years, but at one time it was an important book to me. A book that started on the margins of society has been widely translated and published around the world.

Scroll of On The Road

To read the original, you’ll need to do a lot of scrolling. It was originally transcribed onto a 120 foot long scroll. Kerouac taped together 12-foot sheets of tracing paper to create the original manuscript. On the Road was written in a burst of creative effort—three weeks from start to finish.

It’s hard to imagine a writer doing a reading on a modern television talk show. Steve Allen deserves credit for inviting Jack to read. Something about it seems too tame and too clean, but it’s a beautiful portal to the past.

Published in zettel