Jack Kerouac–ON THE ROAD

“Jack Kerouac came to embody the counter culture and when he published On the Road, it became the Bible of the counter culture generation.” –Jay Parini

Although he had been toying the story for years, the legend is that Kerouac wrote his final draft of On the Road in three weeks.  Kerouac, a fast typer (averaging 100 wpm), did not like having to stop typing to change the individual sheets of paper, so he replaced them with a 120 foot scroll of typing paper, which contains the original manuscript of the book (except for the very end which was eaten by a Cocker Spaniel according to Kerouac’s note). Based on his experiences traveling the country with Neal Cassady (the model for character Dean Moriarty), Kerouac’s novel was an overnight success. Kerouac use a style of writing that he said was inspired by Jazz called “spontaneous prose.” To hear an example of this style of writing, watch the video in which Kerouac reads the final page of On the Road.

Sources:

Jack Kerouac: Biography.com http://www.biography.com/people/jack-kerouac-9363719?page=1

Andrea Shea “Jack Kerouac’s Famous Scroll ‘On the Road’ Again” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11709924

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