On the Road. Jack Kerouac.

On the Road

New York: The Viking Press, 1957. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's black cloth, spine and upper board stamped in white, top edge stained red.

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." First edition of Jack Kerouac’s Beat classic. Famously written on a single scroll of paper over the course of three weeks in 1951, the novel’s development technically began between 1947 and 1950 over a series of road trips Kerouac took with various friends across the continent. Vigorously taking notes while hitchhiking, on a bus, or in a car, Kerouac produced his masterpiece while truly "on the road," with a 10,000-word letter (the now-famous "Joan Anderson" letter) from fellow Beat kid and model for the novel's protagonist Neal Cassady galvanizing him to piece his journalistic vignettes together into a single tale. Mirroring the spontaneous fluidity of of Cassady’s long-lost letter (which he later admitted was the product of a three-day Benzedrine high), Keroauc’s "spontaneous prose" influenced a generation of aspiring writers, and with Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1956), laid the foundation of Beat sensibility. Lacking scarce dust jacket. Spot of white paint to spine, corners very lightly banged, a few faint scuffs to cloth. Very good. Item #4912


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