Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Anniversary of the publication of On The Road


My dog-eared and annotated copy of On The Road

The publication of Jack Kerouac's On The Road happened on this date -- September 5 -- in 1957! It no less than launched our boy Jack into literary stardom (the latter of which contributed to his drinking and therefore to his early death).

For you math geeks, that was 66 years ago today.

According to Ann Charters (editor) in Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1957-1969 (Penguin Books, 2000):

On September 5, 1957, Kerouac was staying in Manhattan with Joyce Glassman [Johnson] when On the Road was reviewed by Gilbert Millstein in The New York Times as an "authentic work of art" whose publication marked "an historic occasion." Jack and Joyce bought a copy of the paper at a newsstand on Broadway just before midnight and read the review together at Donnelly's Irish Bar on Columbus Avenue before returning to her apartment to go back to sleep. Joyce remembered that "Jack lay down obscure for the last time in his life. The ringing phone woke him the next morning, and he was famous." (pp. 72-73)

Hooray for September 5, a date of significant importance to us Kerouac fans!

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