• Someone Needs to take this On The Road

    Yes, it's a portion of the original On the Road scroll typed frantically by Jack Kerouac back in 1951. With a little pharmaceutical aid, he was able to slam the novel out in three weeks. The scroll, by the way, is on tour and probably lounging around Dublin right about now.

    I won't go on and on about Kerouac or On The Road. Most women I know (of a certain age) find the book fairly appalling and Kerouac even more so, but Kerouac is not the point here. The scroll is. It's morphed into an art installation and by the miracle of technological wizardry, a very large typecast.

    The thing is, I know a lot of people who can slam out a novel in a month. Maybe they aren't all Kerouacs, but they do it and there's a die-hard group of Luddites blowing the top off the NaNoWriMo word counts via manual typewriter every year. You know who you are.

    While taking a little paper-grading break today, I hopped on Ebay and found the perfect ditty for a NaNoWriMo Typewriter Brigader. Or for a Kerouac wannabe, makes no difference. It's a big roll of three-part carbon paper - that's one original copy to keep and two canary copies to send 'round to the art installations in Dublin.

    Eighteen days left on that auction, and a chance to make a legend. Who's up for it?

    14 comments → Someone Needs to take this On The Road

    1. Gee whiz, Monda, don't tempt me! I'm in a vulnerable stage....

      But then again, part of the joy of typewriting is being able to ball up the occasional page and throw it at the wall to let out frustration. (Try *that* with digital text!) The continual feed would get in the way of that.

      I guess I'm content with what I've got. ;-)

    2. It WOULD mean typing in one place for the whole of the project, so there's that. Beleive me, I've already tried to find a reason to buy it myself. Even thought about a writing marathon/performance art kind of thing I could do with my students in the Fall.

      If no one else buys, maybe...

    3. How the heck would a person scan that, anyway? Maybe sideways, in short segments, then string it all together in Ye Olde Photoshoppe. Hmm. It smacks of borderline performance art without an audience. That's not necessarily a negative.

      I used to revere Kerouac. Then I grew up.

    4. "I used to revere Kerouac. Then I grew up."

      Thank you, Olivander, I needed to hear that. Kerouac (or the idea of Kerouac) has ruined a great many otherwise delightful young men. Some of them, forever.

      I'm glad to see you made it out on the other side.

      Ye Olde Photoshoppe. Hah.

    5. I really hope my wife tells me "no" when I ask for this...

    6. Hey - at least you're asking.

    7. Survival mechanism. It's built right in.

    8. Nice blog you've got here.
      I'm using a similar layout and was wondering how you managed to get the images in the main view to be cropped rather than squished?
      Have a look at Our blog at http://roarkssporks.blogspot.com
      and you'll get what I mean. Our images are all squished in the main view. It would be much better if they were just cropped instead.

      Any pointers much appreciated.
      Keep blogging, love your recession one.

    9. So, Monda: making your way through "The Iron Whim"? Because your post about it sent me directly to the library where (outrageously) I had to request it through inter-library loan.

      But so anyway I just made my way through the Kerouac chapter. I'm not quite sure what to make of "Iron Whim" all-in-all. Interesting factoids, certainly (including the etiology of the word "factoids") but some pretty bizarre typewriter-as-medium-and-no-not-THAT-kind-of-medium theory. Still, an intriguing read so far. Especially liked all the Henry James stuff I was not aware of. I was more of a William James reader, at least back in the day.

    10. Raving Ritchie (I finally figured it out!), when I downloaded the template there was only the one light and the dark one like you have. Neither were supposed to show pictures at all. Soon after, there were two more templates released (one in each color) that "squished" the pictures, but displayed them. If you google the template name mine is the one that shows text only. I can't remember the name of the thing, but it's at the bottom of the blog. Despite what the download paget says, the pictures DO show up.

      My template only shows certain pictures, though - if they're at the top of the blog and if they're not humongous. I fiddle a bit on this end to make it work.

      I visited your blog and it's GORGEOUS. The color and the pictures just so - love it!

    11. Duffy, I finished it last week and have had to put off a review in favor of grading final essays. I've got some breathing room this weekend before exams begin, so look for a conversation from me.

      By the way, the author found me and we had a nice little chat. He knows all about typecasting now. More soon.

    12. Someone bought the paper! Okay, 'fess up...

      Who's the next Kerouac?

    13. Sigh...it was me.

    14. I know I'm a little late to this comment page but I thought you may like to know that the Benzadrine element to the Kerouac story is part of the myth. Kerouac said "I wrote that book on COFFEE, remember said rule. Benny, tea, anything I KNOW none as good as coffee fo real mental power kicks" (from an essay titled 'FAST THIS TIME' by Howard Cunnell found in the penguin publication of The Original Scroll)

      I know it is perhaps not relevent to the post but there you go.


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