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Jack Kerouac wrote the manuscript for the now classic Beat Generation novel On the Road within a 20-day period in New York City in 1951 employing “spontaneous prose,� a nonstop, unedited style inspired by letters from his friend Neal Cassady. Kerouac’s manuscript is a 120-foot long scroll consisting of a series of single-spaced typed twelve-foot long rolls of paper that have been taped together. Thirty-six feet of the original manuscript will be exhibited along with an overview of Kerouac’s life and other works, a brief history of the Beat movement and Beats in San Francisco, told through photos, books and ephemera.

This manuscript is on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay. © Estate of Anthony G. Sampatacacus and the Estate of Jan Kerouac. Sponsored by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

January 14 – March 19, 2006
Main Library, Lower Level, Jewett Gallery
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)

Related Programs:
Kerouac’s On the Road: From East to West
Gerald Nicosia, author of Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, discusses the life of Jack Kerouac, his classic book On the Road and Kerouac’s connection to San Francisco.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium
100 Larkin Street (at Grove)


by Gregory Corso

Last night I drove a car
			not knowing how to drive
			not owning a car.
I drove and knocked down rubber statues
And watched them cry like rubber dolls
		beneath my concrete wheels.
Nearing Hedgeville, I climbed in
		     the back seat and slept
		excited about my new life.
January 2006
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Beat Generation

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