On the Road
On the Road The Original Scroll By Kerouac, Jack Book - 2007

Was there ever a novel with a history like this one? When Jack Kerouac brought the manuscript for "On The Road" into the publisher's office, it was on one long, taped-together scroll with no pagination and no paragraph breaks. When he was told that they liked it, but it needed be made more uniform, he said that it could not be changed because it was dictated to him by the Holy Ghost. (Where are these kinds of writers today?) The publishers insisted and eventually wore him down to allow a large edit. The history of all that is contained in this volume, and also other insightful essays. The original publication of the edited "On The Road" exploded into a phenomenon that effected even America life styles. This famous book, read and aught for years, was not the one that Kerouac had written. Ginsberg stated all along that the publishers had ruined the book, and I thought he was just being his rebellious self. But Ginsberg was right. Many passages removed were the most perceptive and salient on America. The Beats have been justifiably criticized for their views on gender - but all the parts of the scroll on women that had strong, effective positions and perspectives were removed. Also more convenient and valuable in the scroll is that all the names of the people are their real names. This says nothing for passages of Kerouac's lyrical style that had been excised. In short, if you have not read the Scroll, then you have not read Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."

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