On the Road: The Original Scroll

Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is turning 50 this month, something we recently noted. And to commemorate the event, Viking has just published the original draft of the novel (check it out here) that Kerouac banged out in three quick weeks, in a New York apartment, on eight long sheets of tracing paper, which he later taped together to create a 120-foot scroll (see photo). This new publication offers a reproduction of Kerouac’s first draft and lets you see how the beat classic changed from initial draft to publication. In the scroll, Kerouac uses the real names of friends instead of pseudonyms, and some of the details are a little more graphic. If you want to see footage of Kerouac reading from “On the Road,” feel free to refer back to our post on August 15.

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