Readersforum's Blog

March 29, 2013

Three Books About…The Road

the-roadBy Cath Murphy

Books can be about anything – elephants, antimacassars, milk cartons – but generally they are not. Books tend to cluster around certain subjects, old favorites cropping up time and time again, like regulars at a bar. But unlike barflies, who all seem to have learned the same hard luck story by rote, writers (good writers) can take the same base material and make it into something entirely original.

Contrast three writers on the same subject and what you end up with is not just interesting—what you end up with is inspiration.

For example: three books about roads. On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Famished Road by Ben Okri

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February 4, 2012

Cassady, Kerouac, Kesey

Neal Cassady

On this day in 1968 Neal Cassady died, at the age of forty-one. Cassady was not only Jack Kerouac’s wheelman on the trips that inspired On the Road but a direct influence on Kerouac’s style. Ken Kesey and others who were friendly with, or married to, or driven by, or audience for Cassady all say that “Fastestmanalive” talked and lived as he drove — at overwhelming rates and to uncertain places.

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January 12, 2012

Editing & Mixing For ‘On The Road’ Complete

Walter Salles Says Editing & Mixing For ‘On The Road’ Complete; Film Looks Potentially Primed For Cannes With May 23rd French Theatrical Release

By Simon Dang

In development for decades by Francis Ford Coppola, who remains a key producer on the film, the eagerly anticipated big screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac‘s “On The Road” has been a long time coming. But the project’s lengthy journey might finally be seeing the light of day, as the post-production is wrapping up and European theatrical dates are slowly coming into focus. “The Motorcycles Diaries” director Walter Salles is at the helm, joined by a promising young cast in Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Tom Sturridge and Kristen Stewart, as well as veterans like Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst and Terrence Howard.

“We just finished the edit and the mix in Paris,” Salles told Your Entertainment Corner recently. “There are still a few steps left until the film is completely finished (designing titles and credits, getting the digital workprint back to 35mm, etc.) The independent company that produced the film, MK2, is now working on the site and trailer. As for release dates, they tend to vary from country to country when a film is distributed independently.”

One variable is evidently the release in France, which producer Charles Gillibert revealed on Twitter is set for May 23rd, running concurrently with the tail end of this year’s Cannes Film Festival (scheduled for May 16-27). This primes the film for a potential premiere on the Croisette, which will precede the Gallic theatrical release. In a similar manner, Terrence Malick‘s “The Tree Of Life premiered at the festival last year before being unspooled in French cinemas a week later. Unlike Malick’s film, though, “On The Road” doesn’t have North American distribution in place yet. So while the film looks like it will premiere and be released in France within the next five months, a U.S. date could be a bit further off.

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November 30, 2011

Kerouac’s ‘lost’ debut novel is published 70 years after its conception at sea

Jack Kerouac on Manhattan's lower east side in 1953, eleven years afrter writing The Sea is My Brother. Photograph: Allen Ginsberg/ Allen Ginsberg/CORBIS

Beat generation author Kerouac shows signs of future rebellion in 158-page maritime tale published by Penguin.

By Stephen Bates

The American beat generation author Jack Kerouac is said to have spent just eight days on active service in the US merchant marines on board the SS Dorchester in 1942; but his short stay furnished him with notes for his first novel and, after nearly 70 years, it has now been published for the first time.

The 158-page The Sea is my Brother, a tale of two young men serving on a voyage from Boston to Greenland, has been known about for some time, but is being described by Penguin, its publisher, as “a unique insight into the young Kerouac and the formation of his genius”.

The author himself apparently noted: “It’s a crock [of shit] as literature.”

Literary critics appeared inclined to agree with the author that the text, although showing signs of Kerouac’s future style, is raw and juvenile, as well it might be, given that he was 20 when he wrote it.

The literary critic Stuart Evers said: “It is not a great work of literature. It would never be published today if it wasn’t by Kerouac, but it is fascinating as an insight into him as a writer … He was just jotting down ideas that he would explore with much more gusto in his later work. There is no real narrative, not much happens, but there are flashes of his later work.”

Dawn Ward, the book’s editor, said the novel shows a side of Kerouac not normally seen in his books. The manuscript was discovered in Kerouac’s archive by his brother-in-law.

Ward said: “It was referred to briefly in letters, but nothing that led anyone to believe that there was this really large volume … This book is really quite important as it shows how Jack developed his writing process.”

The novel joins a growing canon of Kerouac’s published works, though it seems unlikely that he ever bothered to lug the manuscript round to publishers, as he did in the 1950s while trying to sell the work for which he is best remembered, On the Road.

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February 4, 2011

Cassady, Kerouac, Kesey

Filed under: Today in Literature — Tags: , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:17 am

 On this day in 1968 Neal Cassady died, at the age of forty-one.Cassady             was not only Jack Kerouac’s wheelman on the trips that inspired On the Road but a direct influence on Kerouac’s style. Ken Kesey and others who were friendly with, or married to, or driven by, or audience for Cassady all say that “Fastestmanalive” talked and lived as he drove — at overwhelming rates and to uncertain places.   …read more

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