Jack Kerouac: Raw
August 1, 2006 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Kerouac's essential On The Road is celebrating it's 50th year in publication next September. To commemorate, Viking Press plans to publish the raw, unedited "scroll version" that's been touring around the country. The hardcover -- due out somtime next year -- contains "some sections that had been cut from the novel because of references to sex or drugs" along with real names of characters, and "a different first sentence than the published novel, as well as a more abrupt ending."
posted by nitsuj (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
it's its
posted by killdevil at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2006

its a tough one.
posted by nitsuj at 12:38 PM on August 1, 2006

They should publish the actual manuscript too. I had a large format version of 1984 which featured every page of the manuscript and a transcript on the facing page and it was fascinating.
posted by fire&wings at 1:01 PM on August 1, 2006

Had?? Why would you get rid of something like that??

(I suppose that's none of my business, but curiosity and all...)
posted by nevercalm at 1:13 PM on August 1, 2006

Cash needed at the time, sadly.
posted by fire&wings at 1:24 PM on August 1, 2006

I'd love to see this. The original drafts of Eliot's "The Waste Land" are fascinating, too, along with Pound's annotations.
posted by pips at 1:28 PM on August 1, 2006

NPR: Kerouac's 'On the Road' Manuscript Unfurled. A good radio piece on said scroll.
posted by RobertFrost at 1:37 PM on August 1, 2006

Ok. Here's the real link
posted by RobertFrost at 1:38 PM on August 1, 2006

fire&wings: That's quite an interesting publishing scenario, but how would you convince Viking to let loose the scroll? How would you convince them that the Kerouac scholars of the world would lay down their hard-earned bread for a elliptical tome which couldn't be sandwiched so neatly between two Modern Library volumes? And think of the poor bookstores. Think of the fact that the roll is currently owned by Indianapolis Colts owner James Irsay and that a replica of the roll -- the glorious roll -- would make his literary tchothke (well, perhaps in his mind) less original, less valuable.

No, the only way to make this happen is to storm the gates of Irsay's palatial estate while simultaneously liberating the roll from its current location and restoring it to its rightful proletarian place. If Irsay's home security system proved difficult to crack, then we would, of course, need to kidnap all Colts players just before the next NFL season. That will give him something to think about.
posted by ed at 1:39 PM on August 1, 2006

fire+wings, how much did you get for it (if you'll forgive the nosiness)?
posted by craven_morhead at 1:51 PM on August 1, 2006

While we're at it, ed, can we move them back to Baltimore?

I have seen the best quarterback of his generation
crawling naked through the streets at dawn,
looking for a playoff win.

Oh never mind, that's Ginsburg.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:53 PM on August 1, 2006

posted by muckster at 3:00 PM on August 1, 2006

posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:09 PM on August 1, 2006

1950s: Neverending amphetamine-assisted scroll sessions
2000s: Blogathon

i saw the best minds etc...
posted by blag at 4:29 PM on August 1, 2006

craven_morhead - I got around £50 for it which I was very grateful for at the time, and which more or less reflected the going rate. 1984 is not a favourite of mine so it was easy to let it go despite how interesting it was. It's a scarce book but not that expensive - there is a copy here for $85.

ed - it would make a fantastic book. And I would go as far as to suggest that they could even create a limited edition 500 copy exact replica of the scroll @ premium Franklin Mint prices. I've seen lesser books marketed in far more outlandish ways. They should push the boat out. I would buy one.
posted by fire&wings at 6:17 PM on August 1, 2006

Has anyone actually made it through On The Road? I found it unreadable (but am a 21st century left-brain-type female (not the target audience)).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:52 PM on August 1, 2006

CC, it's essential -- Builds literacy.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:08 PM on August 1, 2006

Yes, puts hair on your chest. Read it. Read it now. And read it again. And, fire&wings, I suspect that a lobbying effort to Viking might be in order. Under the right circumstances, I would certainly spring for a roll. And we're not talking the everything bagel kind.
posted by ed at 10:11 PM on August 1, 2006

My main problem with On the Road was its assumption that I gave a damn about what Jack Kerouac said to William Burroughs while they were drunk and high, and that I wanted to read 300 pages about how many chicks they banged and how crazy those negroes are, can you dig them?
posted by UKnowForKids at 10:14 AM on August 2, 2006

i found it unreadable too Claudia. Huge disappointment. Like Capote said, "that's not writing, that's typing".
posted by vronsky at 1:36 PM on August 2, 2006

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