Malaysia isn't the only one celebrating her golden jubilee this year!
It's fifty years since Jack Keroac's On the Road, was published. An immediate best-seller, it tells the story of Keroac and his friend "Dean Moriaty" (actually Neal Cassady) as they travel across the US. It was an immediate best-seller, and is the book which best defined the "Beat Generation" which challenged the conformist and materialist values of post-war America. Another Beat novelist, William S. Burroughs, once said that the book "sent countless kids on the road".
Admirers of the novel celebrated with a marathon 12 hour cover-to-cover reading in Boulder, Colorado to kick off the university's inaugural Kerouac Festival.
Keroac taped together sheets of semi-translucent paper so that the flow through his typewriter would be uninterrupted, and the resulting manuscript was 120 feet long (and written breathlessly in a single paragraph)!
Now the "scroll" on which the novel was typed (bought for $2.4 million at auction last year) has gone on show in the the author's hometown, Lowell, Massachusetts, and will be displayed around the country.
And a new edition of the book has been released by Penguin classics, with all the original names restored as well as scenes that got edited out for fear of charges of obscenity. George Mouratidis in the Age describes his own involvement with the project in a piece which captures the spirit and the atmosphere of the original.
This goes on my wish list!