Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On The Road; The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac

Written on a continuous roll of paper, this is an autobiography -- and biography -- of the main characters of the beat generation. Previously, I had read On The Road which was based upon this scroll.

The scroll is written without paragraphs. That creates a sense of urgency and movement of long distance road travel. The book is about several road trips between 1945 and 1950 with some short interludes in New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Denver. The parties, the sex, the booze and the drugs are all part of maintaining that high of being alive and the ever moving party across the US.

Neal Cassady is the focus of the scroll as Dean Moriarty is in the book. Kerouac holds admiration for that person (character) wishing he could be that person. But Kerouac can't be that person. Kerouac has a different personality and background.

Personally, I found the scroll more interesting than the book. The unedited life was much more interesting than that which would pass the censors and publishers of the 1950s. Fifty years later, it is a different world.

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