Saturday, July 29, 2006

Kerouac's original 'On the Road' will be published

As long as we're on the subject of the Beats, this is really good news to hear. The publication of something this will really put a lot of tools in the hands of scholars and provide the capability to really critically open up Kerouac's seminal work. From a literary viewpoint, I think that this is as important an event as when the expanded and unexpurgated version of Joyce's Ulysses was released about twenty years ago.

This is going to be a must have for me on its release, and it will go right next to my copy of the restored edition of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch. Great, great news for those interested in American literature and the Beats.

Kerouac's original 'On the Road' will be published
It's literary legend, how Jack 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.

In 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.
[via Boing Boing]