On this day, September 5, 1957 Jack Kerouac’s famous book On the Road was published. Here are some fun facts about this famed publication which is still enjoyed by many to this day.
- It is said that Kerouac wrote On the Road in 3 weeks typing on 120 foot roll of paper. Legends aside, the book had multiple rewrites, many rejection, and even had a dog pee on it, however Kerouac was a fast typist (100 words per minute) so he did use a roll of paper not to interrupt his flow.
- The 3 weeks myth was actually created when Kerouac, interviewed by Steve Allen, was asked how long it took him to write the book.
- Kerouac first started writing On the Road in French (he has two other unpolished novels in the same language).
- There were many as six drafts of On the Road written between 1951 – 1957.
- Many publications rejected the manuscript calling it “unpublishable”.
- Excerpts from On the Road where published in The Paris Review, which helped convince Viking to publish it.
- Viking paid an advance of $900 in $100 installments, fearing Kerouac would squander it.
- The manuscript was sent to lawyers who insisted on the names of people being changed, fearing libel suites.
- Kerouac’s On the Road scroll can be found in in Lowell, MA., where the he was born (12, March 1922) and buried (21 October, 1969).
- The end of the original scroll is a ragged edge where Kerouac wrote “Ate by Patchkee, a dog”, so no one really knows the original ending.
Zohar – Man of la Book
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