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Encyclopedia > On the Road
On the Road

On the Road. Signet first printing, 1958.
Author Jack Kerouac
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Beat
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date September 5, 1957
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 320 pages
ISBN NA
Preceded by The Town and the City
(1950)
Followed by The Subterraneans
(1958)
This article is about the novel On the Road. For other uses, see On the Road (disambiguation).

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, written in April 1951, and published by Viking Press in 1957. It is a largely autobiographical work that was written as a stream of consciousness creation—based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation that was inspired by jazz, poetry, and drug experiences. While many of the names and details of Kerouac's experiences are changed in the novel, hundreds of references in On the Road have real-world counterparts. Download high resolution version (622x1042, 158 KB)On the Road book cover This image is a book cover. ... Jack Kerouac (pronounced ) (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... “Beats” redirects here. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Viking Press was founded on March 1, 1925, in New York City, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim. ... See also: 1956 in literature, other events of 1957, 1958 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... The Town and the City is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published by Harcourt Brace in 1950 (ISBN 0-15-690790-9). ... The Subterraneans cover The Subterraneans is a 1958 novel by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. ... On the Road is a counterculture novel by Jack Kerouac. ... Jack Kerouac (pronounced ) (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, and artist. ... Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Viking Press was founded on March 1, 1925, in New York City, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim. ... See also: 1956 in literature, other events of 1957, 1958 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Cover of the first English edition of 1793 of Benjamin Franklins autobiography. ... In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a literary technique which seeks to portray an individuals point of view by giving the written equivalent of the characters thought processes. ... “Beats” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... This article is about the art form. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... On the Road is a novel written by Jack Kerouac (1922–1969), during his early adulthood in the late 1940s, and published by Viking Press in 1957. ...


When the book was originally released, the New York Times hailed it as "the most beautifully executed, the clearest and most important utterance" of Kerouac's generation. [1] The novel was chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. [2] The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Year 1923 (MCMXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Origins

On the Road was written in three weeks, while Kerouac lived with Joan Haverty, his second wife, at 454 West Twentieth Street in Manhattan. Kerouac typed the manuscript on what he called "the roll"[3]: a continuous, one hundred twenty-foot scroll of tracing paper sheets that he cut to size and taped together.[4] The roll was typed single-spaced, without margins or paragraph breaks. Contrary to rumor, Kerouac said he used no stimulants during the brief but productive writing session, other than coffee. [5]


Recently, it was discovered that Kerouac first started writing On the Road in French, a language in which he also wrote two unpublished novels.[6] These writings are in dialectal Quebec French, and predate by a decade the first novels of Michel Tremblay. Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Michel Tremblay (born June 25, 1942) is an important Quebec novelist and playwright. ...


"The roll" still exists — it was bought in 2001, by Jim Irsay (Indianapolis Colts ball team owner), for $2.4 million, and is available for public viewing. The roll was displayed in sections at Indiana University's Lilly Library in mid-2003, and, in January 2004, the roll started a thirteen-stop, four-year national tour of museums and libraries, starting at the Orange County History Center in Orlando, Florida. From January through March 2006, it was at the San Francisco Public Library with the first 30 feet unrolled. It will spend three months at the New York Public Library in 2007, and in the spring of 2008 will be at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Jim Irsay (also known as Jimmy Irsay) graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX in 1982 and is the owner of the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. ... City Indianapolis, Indiana Other nicknames The Horseshoes Team colors Speed Blue and White Head Coach Tony Dungy Owner Jim Irsay General manager Bill Polian Mascot Blue League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1953–present) Western Conference (1953-1969) Coastal Division (1967-1969) American Football Conference (1970-present) AFC East (1970... Indiana University is the principal campus of the Indiana University system. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. ... Nickname: Location in Orange County and the state of Florida Coordinates: , Country State Counties Orange Government  - Mayor Buddy Dyer (D) Area  - City 101 sq mi (261. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami metropolitan area Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... The main San Francisco Public Library. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center is an archive at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and other cultural artifacts from the United States, Great Britain, and France. ... University of Texas redirects here. ...


The legend of how Kerouac wrote On the Road excludes the tedious organization and preparation preceding the creative explosion. Kerouac carried small notebooks, in which much of the text was written as the eventful seven-year span of road trips unfurled. He furthermore revised the scroll's text several times before Malcolm Cowley, of Viking Press, agreed to publish it. Besides the differences in formatting, the original scroll manuscript contained real names and was longer than the published novel. Kerouac deleted sections (including some sexual depictions deemed pornographic in 1957) and added smaller literary passages. [7] Viking Press released a slightly edited version of the original manuscript on 16 August 2007 titled On the Road: The Original Scroll corresponding with the 50th anniversary of original publication. This version has been transcribed and edited by an English academic and novelist, Dr Howard Cunnell. As well as containing material that was excised from the original draft due to its explicit nature the scroll version also uses the real names of the protagonists, so Dean Moriarty become Neal Cassady and so on.[8] Malcolm Cowley, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1963 Malcolm Cowley (1898 – March 27, 1989) was an American novelist, poet, critic, and journalist. ... Viking Press was founded on March 1, 1925, in New York City, by Harold K. Guinzburg and George S. Oppenheim. ...


As of 2006, the book is slated for cinematic adaptation as On the Road to be directed by Walter Salles. 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... On the Road is an upcoming movie, produced by Francis Ford Coppola. ... Walter Salles (2002) Walter Moreira Salles Jr. ...


Plot

The book begins by introducing the catalyst for most of the adventures of the story: Dean Moriarty. The narrator of On the Road, and the character identified as Kerouac's alter ego, is Salvadore (a.k.a. Sal) Paradise, who is fascinated with all things humanity; especially his eclectic group of friends, jazz, the landscapes of America, and women. The focus seems to be on the epic hero of the novel, Dean Moriarty (a pseudonym for Neal Cassady, who was also a part of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters). The opening paragraph states that "with the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road." Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Neal Cassady, left, with Jack Kerouac, photograph by Carolyn Cassady. ... Kenneth Elton Kesey (September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American author, best known for his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and as a counter-cultural figure who, some consider, was a link between the beat generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


New York City is the starting point. Soon after Dean's arrival he meets Carlo Marx (a pseudonym for Allen Ginsberg), Sal’s closest friend in the city. Sal tells us that a “tremendous thing happened," and that the meeting of Dean and Carlo was a meeting between “the holy con-man with the shining mind [Dean], and the sorrowful poetic con-man with the dark mind that is Carlo Marx." Carlo and Dean share stories about their friends and adventures around the country. Sal describes his fascination with these two men, and others he will meet along the road, as being part of his overall interest in otherworldly characters. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn burn burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”. New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... A character in the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac. ... Irwin Allen Ginsberg (IPA: ) (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet. ...


In Dean, Sal finds a foil to his friends at university. Dean has an intelligence "every bit as formal and shining and complete," as the intellectuals Sal normally accompanies, but without the "tedious intellectualness" that is often an unfortunate byproduct of a good education. Having learned all there is to learn at school, Sal is ready to live and experience. He knows that Dean will be trouble, but he hopes that "somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me." [9]


In July 1947 Sal is ready to begin his first foray across the continent towards the West Coast. His friend Remi Boncœur has sent an invitation to join him, with hints of worldwide travels aboard a ship. He sets out with fifty dollars in his pocket. Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Sal’s journey continues with his arrival in Chicago. He dates the narrative at 1947, marking it as a specific era in jazz history, “somewhere between its Charlie Parker Ornithology period and another period that began with Miles Davis,” and it inspires Sal to think of his friends “from one end of the country to the other…doing something so frantic and rushing about.” Sal doesn’t say what they are frantically doing, and this is the premise of the narrative. Sal is hardly immune from this. After napping in Des Moines, he wakes up, “and that was the one distinct time in [his] life...when [he] didn’t know who [he] was.” Nickname: Motto: Urbs in Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location in the Chicago metro area and Illinois Coordinates: , Country State Counties Cook, DuPage Settled 1770s Incorporated March 4, 1837 Government  - Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Area  - City  234. ... For other article subjects named Jazz see jazz (disambiguation). ... Charles Bird Parker, Jr. ... Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician widely considered to be one of the most influential of the 20th century. ...


In San Francisco, Sal confronts social expectations. He takes a job as a night watchman at a boarding camp for merchant sailors waiting for their ship. When he finds the work distasteful, he tells his supervisor that he “wasn’t cut out to be a cop.” In response, Sal is reminded that “it’s [his] duty.... [He] can’t compromise with things like this.” Sal’s aversion to commitment and duty ensure that he does not hold this job for long, and he is soon on the road again, where he meets one of his biggest temptations. US Merchant Marines, WWII, North Atlantic The United States Merchant Marine is a fleet of ships that is used to transport both imports and exports during peace time and serves as an auxiliary to the United States Navy during times of war, delivering both troops and supplies. ...


Her name is Terry, and he meets her on the bus to LA. She is Mexican, and has run away from her husband. They spend “the next fifteen days…together for better or for worse.” Sal spends the better part of a week with Terry and her family in a migrant worker’s camp. The agrarian lifestyle initially appeals to Sal, and he says that he “thought [he] had found [his] life’s work.” The economic reality sets in and Sal begins to pray “to God for a better break in life and a better chance to do something for the little people [he] loved.”


Sal’s continued journey on the road is entwined with the making of Dean as the epic hero: Dean Moriarty, the “son of a wino”. Dean has spent time in prison, for stealing cars. Sal discusses what effect this experience had on Dean saying, “only a guy who’s spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes.... Prison is where you promise yourself the right to live.” Dean’s imprisonment, according to Sal, is when his heroic personality was solidified. Prison had the effect of fueling his obsession with the road. What makes him heroic to Sal is his free nature, and his reluctance to tie his spirit to social demands. This self-centered personality causes Dean to “[antagonize] people away from him by degrees.” The institution of marriage is particularly difficult for Dean, and by the end of the novel he is “three times married, twice divorced, and living with his second wife.” This decline of Dean makes up the second part of the novel, and culminates in the end of Sal’s journeys. Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract, or through civil process. ...


Sal’s travels erode into disappointment. He slowly becomes more dissatisfied with what he finds on the road, and he begins to look back on his previous travels in a more cynical way. His companions begin to be people from lower classes, old Negroes and Mexican whores. Back in Denver, and very alone, he speaks in verse saying, “Down in Denver, down in Denver/All I did was die.” We begin to confront the possibility that this journey and Sal’s hero Dean were both failures. This article refers to the state capital of Colorado. ...


After reuniting with Dean, Sal begins to sense Dean’s decline and labels him “the HOLY GOOF”, when earlier he was called holy in a reverent tone. Dean’s abilities falter. When confronted with his abandonment of wife and child, he is silent. Sal explains, “where once Dean would have talked his way out, he now fell silent.... He was BEAT.”


Sal’s last attempt at finding an answer to his problems is a trip through the Mexican countryside to Mexico City with Dean and a hanger-on picked up in Denver. The travellers perk up as soon as they hit the Mexican border, and some of the novel's more memorable scenes depict their marijuana-fused introduction to Mexican culture, including a vivid (but expensive) sojurn to a bordello offering mambo music and underage prostitutes. (Indeed, throughout the book, both Sal and Dean betray a robust attraction to extremely young girls.) Nickname: Motto: Capital en movimiento Location of Mexico City in south central Mexico Coordinates: , Country Federal entity Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded c. ... This article refers to the state capital of Colorado. ... Cannabis (also known as marijuana[1] or ganja[2] in its herbal form and hashish in its resinous form[3]) is a psychoactive product of the plant Cannabis sativa L. subsp. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Mambo is a Cuban musical form and dance style. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... For other uses, see Book (disambiguation). ... Plural of Girl. ...


Upon arriving in Mexico City, he immediately develops dysentery, and the final betrayal occurs when Dean leaves him behind, feverish and hallucinating. Sal reflects that “when I got better I realized what a rat he was, but then I had to understand the impossible complexity of his life, how he had to leave me there, sick, to get on with his wives and woes.” Nickname: Motto: Capital en movimiento Location of Mexico City in south central Mexico Coordinates: , Country Federal entity Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded c. ... Dysentery (formerly known as flux or the bloody flux) is the term for tenesmus (painful straining to pass stool), cramping, and frequent, small-volume severe diarrhea associated with blood in the feces. ... Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). ...


The novel ends a year later in New York. Dean comes back to New York to see Sal and arrange for Sal and his girlfriend to migrate to San Francisco with him. The arrangements to move fall through and Dean returns to the West alone. This article is about the state. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ...


Sal closes the novel sitting on a pier during sunset, looking west. He reminisces on God, America, crying children, and the idea that "nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old," and ends with “I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty." This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Influence

On the Road has been a huge influence on many Poets, Writers and Musicians. Including Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Hunter S. Thompson and many more. 'It changed my life like it changed everyone else's,' Bob Dylan would say many years later. Tom Waits, too, acknowledged its influence, hymning Jack and Neal in a song, and calling the Beats 'father figures'. At least two great American photographers were influenced by Kerouac: Robert Frank, who became his close friend - Kerouac wrote the introduction to The Americans - and Stephen Shore, who set out on an American road trip in the Seventies with Kerouac's book as a guide. It would be hard to imagine Hunter S Thompson's deranged Seventies road novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, had On the Road not laid down the template - likewise films such as Easy Rider, Paris, Texas, even Thelma and Louise. This article is about the recording artist. ... For other persons named James or Jim Morrison, see James Morrison. ... Hunter Stockton Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author. ... This article is about the recording artist. ... Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. ... Stephen Shore (born 1947 in New York City) is an American photographer best known as a pioneer of color photography. ... Hunter S. Thompson Hunter Stockton Thompson (born Louisville, Kentucky July 18, 1937) is an American journalist and author. ... The hard cover version of the book. ... Wyatt, Mary (Toni Basil), Billy and Karen (Karen Black) wandering the streets of a parade filled New Orleans. ... Paris, Texas (1984) is a movie directed by Wim Wenders and is probably his most well-known and critically acclaimed work (in the English speaking world, at least). ... Thelma and Louise Thelma and Louise is a road movie from 1991 conceived and written by Callie Khouri, co-produced and directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Geena Davis as Thelma, Susan Sarandon as Louise, and Harvey Keitel as a sympathetic detective trying to solve crimes that the two women...


Film adaptation

Main article: On the Road (film)

A film adaptation of On the Road has been in the works for years, though production has not yet started. Russell Banks wrote a screenplay for producer Francis Ford Coppola. The Brazilian director Walter Salles is now heading the project. After seeing Salles's The Motorcycle Diaries Coppola decided on Salles and the pre-production is already in discussion. It is not known if any of Banks's screenplay will be used. On the Road is an upcoming movie, produced by Francis Ford Coppola. ... Russell Banks (born March 28, 1940) is an American writer of fiction and poetry. ... Francis Ford Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award winning American film director, producer, and screenwriter. ... Walter Salles (2002) Walter Moreira Salles Jr. ... The Motorcycle Diaries (Spanish: Diarios de motocicleta) is a 2004 biographical film. ...


Criticisms

The "Last Psychiatrist" says that On the Road is a primer on how to be a narcissist and that the book isn't about freedom or growth but denial. "The notion that they're trying to experience things or learn things or grow is precisely wrong. The experiences are incidental, the learning completely absent; the real purpose of the trip is to say that you went on the trip."[10] David Ulin says in Book Forum that "even the most frantic of Kerouac’s writings were really the sagas of a solitary seeker: poor, sad Jack, adrift in a world without mercy when he’d rather be 'safe in Heaven dead.'"[11] "Kerouac was this deep, lonely, melancholy man," said Hilary Holladay at the University of Massachusetts.[11] "And if you read the book closely, you see that sense of loss and sorrow swelling on every page."[11] John Leland, author of Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think), says "We're no longer shocked by the sex and drugs. The slang is passé and at times corny. Some of the racial sentimentality is appalling" but adds "the tale of passionate friendship and the search for revelation are timeless. These are as elusive and precious in our time as in Sal's, and will be when our grandchildren celebrate the book's hundredth anniversary."[12]


References

  1. ^ Millstien, Gillbert. Books of the Times The New York Times Book Review. September 5th, 1957
  2. ^ http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html
  3. ^ Gerald Nicosia, his biographer.
  4. ^ Sante, Luc. "On The Road Again" New York Times Book Review August 19, 2007
  5. ^ Sante, Luc. "On The Road Again" New York Times Book Review August 19, 2007
  6. ^ http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/09/05/155613.html
  7. ^ Sante, Luc. "On The Road Again" New York Times Book Review August 19, 2007
  8. ^ Bignell, Paul. "On the Road (uncensored). Discovered: Kerouac "cuts"", The Independent, July 29, 2007. Retrieved on 2007-08-02. 
  9. ^ Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. New York: Viking, 1997 pg 8.
  10. ^ The Last Psychiatrist. "Kerouac's On The Road: The 50th Anniversary Of A Book I Had Not Read." October 5, 2007
  11. ^ a b c The New York Times. "Sal Paradise at 50" by David Brooks. October 2, 1007.
  12. ^ Amazon Books. "Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think)." "Questions for John Leland."

The New York Times Book Review is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... For other uses, see The Independent (disambiguation). ... is the 210th day of the year (211th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st Century. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Further reading

Barry Gifford, Jack's Book. Da Capo Press 2005 ISBN 1560257393


Gerald Nicosia, Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac. University of California Press ISBN 0520085698


See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... On the Road is a novel written by Jack Kerouac (1922–1969), during his early adulthood in the late 1940s, and published by Viking Press in 1957. ... Off the Road: My Years With Cassady, Kerouac and Ginsberg (New York, Morrow, 1990) is a book by Carolyn Cassady, wife of Neal Cassady. ...

External links


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