The Annotated On the Road

Columbia College puts Jack Kerouac’s manuscript on display in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, a seminal Beat Generation work that has inspired countless writers, dreamers, and dropouts. To mark the occasion, the original manuscript, a 120-foot-long roll of slightly tattered but mostly intact tracing paper, is on view at Columbia College. We talked to Columbia’s own Beat expert, Tony Trigilio, for some insight into Kerouac’s masterpiece.

On view Oct 3–Nov 30. Mon-Fri noon-7; Sat, Sun noon-5. Free. Center for Book and Paper Arts, 1104 S Wabash, 2nd floor. Part of Columbia College’s . . .  And the Beats Go On, an extensive look at the Beat Generation featuring screenings, lectures, live music, and more. Related events include a marathon reading of On the Road, Nov 5; full schedule: colum.edu/beats.

Photograph: Manuscript on loan from the collection of James S. Irsay. © Estate of Anthony G. Sampatacus and the estate of Jan Kerouac. Courtesy of Christine’s, New York

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