Thursday, July 27, 2006

The road goes on, and on, and on, and on...

John Sampas, executor of the writer's literary estate and brother of Stella Sampas, Kerouac's third wife, said he has signed a contract with Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group USA. He hopes the work will be out by the end of next year, the 50th anniversary of the publication.

"Incidents in the original were edited out of the published version because of the censorship of the time," said Sampas, who noted that some of the edited sections refer to drugs and sex. "On the scroll, entire paragraphs are crossed out and not included in the published version."
Somehow I doubt it will be any more readable. This book has its fans but it drove me up the wall; three hundred pages of blather about two drug-crazed, egomaniacal morons. I suppose I can see the appeal -- it does have its moments -- but overall it made me want to shoot myself. Maybe that was the point. Anyway, yay for an uncut edition, et cetera.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone release an uncensored version of On the Road. I was never a Kerouac fan to begin with but I can't imagine there are a shitload of Kerouac fans that are dying to get this book either. So I hear you bro don't make no sense to me.

Cootera said...

Here's a typical de-lurking comment: First time commenter, long time reader. Love your site, your insights, blah, blah, yadda.

But to read something anti-Kerouac, I had to speak up. Bravo! I couldn't have said it better.

Jason Comerford said...

As for anti-Kerouac diatribes, the best was from Truman Capote: "That's not writing, it's typing."

I also dislike it for the myth it's perpetuated, the one that goes, if you get loaded on any and every drug you can get your hands on and sit down and write whatever comes into your head, the result is somehow profound -- "raw", "immediate", "incandescent", choose your cliche. It's a masterful exercise in technique -- there are great lines here and there -- but an utter bust when it comes to story and characterization. A first draft does not a masterpiece make.