Saturday, July 29, 2006

On The Road scroll to be published

When Jack Kerouac (1922-69) wrote the original manuscript for what would become the novel On the Road in the Spring of 1951 he did it on a 36-meter, single-spaced typed scroll (pictured above) in three weeks. The original manuscript includes numerous penciled deletions and word changes, in some cases substituting fictional names for the real name of the author and his companions, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Such writing is very suggestive of the physical nature of writing with a computer; a continuous scroll that allows us to cut in and out of a line of thought, or to allow it to roll on and on.
Although Kerouac's famous "Belief & Technique for Modern Prose" stated that one should "Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind" in writing, what came to be published as On the Road in 1957 had been altered so that "the original typescript had been cut by one-third and amended to approximate the text to literary, orthographic, and printing conventions."
Now the original scroll of On the Road is to be published. This is a part of a explosion of all things 'beat' going on at the moment.
Finally, something from "Essentials of Spontaneous Prose", by Jack Kerouac and a picture (I believe) taken in San Francisco in the late 1950's.

´"Essentials of Spontaneous Prose":

"No pause to think of proper word but the infantile pile up of scatological buildup words till satisfaction is gained, which will turn out to be a great appending rhythm to a thought and be in accordance with Great Law of Timing."

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