authored the American classic On the Road and influenced an entire generation
more than fifty years ago and just ahead of the rock and roll revolution.
North Beach resident Kerouac tells the mostly autobiographical story of
Sal Paradise (Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (friend Neal Cassady), who find
a kind of personal liberation and respite from mundane conformity by hitting
the road from the east coast to California. What follows is a travelogue
of American days and nights and people who "burn like fabulous roman candles."
With his rebels-without-a-cause story line and spontaneous, unconventional
writing style, Kerouac became a pop icon and celebrity. His work details
a life of tumultuous friendships and social isolation anesthetized by caustic
wit as well as drugs and alcohol. Kerouac died in 1969 in his late 40s.
The original manuscript of On the Road, seen here, was written on 128 feet of tracing paper fashioned by Kerouac with tape to form a continuous scroll. The manuscript, a stream of consciousness without interruption, was created in New York during a 20-day writing binge. The manuscript was purchased for $2.43 million by Indiana Colts ower James Irsay on May 22, 2001. The sum is the most ever paid for a literary work.
There's more to the story! Visit the Beat Museum, 540 Broadway.
Copyright 2001 Hank Donat