Wednesday, September 5, 2007

On the Road turns 50

I remember RatBat Bear handing me his copy of Jack Kerouac's On the Road after I graduated college. Ironically enough, I was preparing for a road trip of my own from Philly to Oklahoma. I was never (and still really am not) a big reader. I mostly stick to magazine and newspaper articles - their lengths seem to work more with my ever-diminishing attention span. But On the Road was different. It just flowed... made reading not seem as much like work. It's amazing that Kerouac spent years "researching" for the novel and then cranked out such a gem in less than 3 weeks (good enough to be named by Time as one of the All-Time 100 Novels). Wouldn't we all like a shot of productivity like that?

Lisa Birman from Naropa University summed it up when she said, "On the Road is one of those books that every generation discovers without fail." I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I'm convinced that On the Road will be kicking around forever. Hell, 100,000 copies are still purchased each year. I'm not one of them though - I have RatBat Bear's copy.

Check out some of the articles that have been popping up over the past week or so:

1 comment:

RatBat Bear said...

If you enjoyed On the Road, I would definitely encourage you to look into Big Sur and Desolation Angels. Desolation Angels is about time spent alone - very alone - on top of a mountain as a forest fire watchman. Something about the mystery and solitude of a fire tower... it makes me want to go hiking. Big Sur represents the period of Kerouac's life in which the downward spiral of alcoholism would lead to his eventual demise. His description of the beauty of the Northern California Pacific coast and wilderness makes this the top destination I hope to visit before I fade away.