A map from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road journal.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Apr 29, 2010
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kerouac map“And as I sat there listening to that sound of the night which bop has come to represent for all of us, I thought of my friends from one end of the country to the other and how they were really all in the same vast backyard doing something so frantic and rushing-about.”

I just ran across this remarkable image, a page from Jack Kerouac’s journal in which he’d taken some of the extensive notes he used to write up On the Road. Thought I’d share it here.

Jack Kerouc, as most readers know, wrote On the Road in three weeks…famously tapping it out all on one roll of taped-together teletype paper so he didn’t have to stop to change sheets of paper. On the Road, then, however, went through six years of not getting published, of his publisher asking for revision after revision while Kerouac shambled about broke, unknown, exploring, yearning, writing.

Then, he became famous. He didn’t like being famous. As soon as he could, it seemed, he turned from handsome young man into angry, lonelier than ever old man…and died an alcoholic.

“…and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old…”

Finally, a year or so ago, the original first draft of On the Road, the one he typed up in that furious mad literary dash, was published.

kerouac young

The map highlights:

New York City
Des Moines
North Platte
Central City)
Salt Lake
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Kansas City
St Louis
Washington DC
New York City


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


One Response to “A map from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road journal.”

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