In its time Jack Kerouac's masterpiece was the bible of the Beat Generation, the essential prose accompaniment to Allen Ginsberg'sHowl. While it stunned the public and literary establishment when it was published in 1957, it is now recognized as an American classic. WithOn the Road, Kerouac discovered his voice and his true subject—the search for a place as an outsider in America. Ian's pick
Early 1957, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg travelled to Tangier to join William S Burroughs; their mission to assemble and edit Burroughs’ many fragments of work to form a ‘readable’ Naked Lunch manuscript. Kerouac arrived early and, during a break from socializing with Burroughs (the ‘old familiar lunatic’), wrote to Lucien Carr and his wife Francesca in order to update them on the project’s progress. That handwritten letter is a fascinating account of Burroughs’ behavior in his prime.