‘On the Road’ on its way to exhibit

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – Fans of Jack Kerouac’s 1957 “On the Road” will soon have the chance to see a portion of the original 120-foot manuscript that inspired a subculture of restless beatniks. Thirty-six feet, a little less than one-third, of the yellowed scroll will be available for viewing at the San Francisco Public Library from Jan. 14 to March 19. The exhibit at the Jewett Gallery will also include books and pictures that detail Kerouac’s life and the history of the so-called Beat Generation. The manuscript was publicly displayed for the first time in February at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Three lectures to be held during the manuscript’s stay in San Francisco will touch on Kerouac and other Beat Generation writers and poets. In January, the library will also screen a series of films related to Beats. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Kerouac, who went on to publish books including “The Subterraneans” and “The Dharma Bums,” employed a spontaneous style of writing through which he tried to capture thoughts as quickly as they flashed through his mind. His writing, which celebrated the thrills of jazz, sex, alcohol and marijuana, touched off a generation that disdained the materialism and conformity of the 1950s. The beatniks, in turn, helped inspire the hippies of the 1960s. “On the Road” was based on Kerouac’s cross-country adventures with his friend Neal Cassady. Kerouac wrote the novel over a 20-day span in 1951 with the aid of coffee and the stimulant Benzedrine. He typed the novel on 12-foot long rolls of tracing paper so he didn’t have to pause to load paper in his typewriter. The book was an overnight success and catapulted Kerouac to instant fame, with The New York Times calling the book’s publication “a historic occasion.” But the novel also received criticism, most notably from writer Truman Capote, who once remarked: “That’s not writing. That’s typing.” After Kerouac died from alcoholism in 1969, the single-spaced manuscript, which has become yellow and brittle with time, changed hands several times. Some said it spent time in a dorm room closet before it turned up at the New York Public Library. Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay bought the scroll in 2001 at an auction for $2.43 million., On the Net: San Francisco Public Library: www.sfpl.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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