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“On the Road” Published

This is an update of a post written by former GVSHP staffer Andito Lloyd.
Jack Kerouac in front of Kettle of Fish, 1958 Source: Jerry Yulsman/Associated Press

The seminal tome of the Beat generation, Jack Kerouac’s novel, “On the Road,” was published  on September 5, 1957.  Though written in 1951 on a continuous 120 foot roll of paper it took many years and many revisions to finally get published  in 1957.

“On the Road,” made Jack famous and came to be the novel that defined the Beat generation.  You can read The New York Times review of the book  here.  The novel is a fictionalized account of Kerouac’s travels across the United States and includes references to many of his friends and other beat luminaries including Neal Cassaday, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.

William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg (far right) and friend

2012 marked what would have been Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday, which we posted about at the time.  Though very  much a nomad, Kerouac spent a great deal of time in Greenwich Village and the East Village, hanging out in spots like the White Horse Tavern, Caffe Reggio (both Village Award winners), the San Remo Cafe (mentioned in this post about Gore Vidal), the Gaslight Cafe, where he was interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1960, and the Artist’s Studio.  Jack Kerouac is very much a part of the Village and the Village and its bohemian culture definitely became a part of him.

Jack Kerouac reading ‘On the Road’ at the Artist’s Studio at 48 East 3rd Street, February 15, 1959. © Estate of Fred W. McDarrah, used by permission. From the Village Preservation Historic Image Archive. To access this and other images in the archive and purchase prints supporting our work, go to http://www.archive.gvshp.org/items/show/2977. 

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