Kerouac’s Legendary 120-Foot Scroll

101 Books

The story goes that Jack Kerouac wrote the original draft of On The Road in just three weeks and on a single 120-foot scroll of paper while living with his second wife in a Manhattan apartment on West 20th Street. All of that fueled by coffee and benzedrine, legend goes. He actually taped individual pieces of paper together to create the scroll.

Over the next 6 years, Kerouac would revise the text until On The Road was finally published in 1957. He wrote the scroll single space, without paragraph breaks. Also, of legend, the last few pages of the scroll were ripped because a dog named “Patchkee” ate them up.

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