The original scrolled manuscript of the Jack Kerouac novel “On the Road” is on display at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Museum director Howard Collinson says the single-spaced typed first draft of the book is 120 feet long as Kerouac taped the pages together so he wouldn’t have to stop the flow of “creative juices” to feed the typewriter. Collinson says the museum was recently renovated and there’s a 120-foot-long “straight shot” through a gallery and down the hallway, the first place that’s ever had 120-feet to show the entire scroll. Kerouac wrote the first draft over 20 days in 1951 and Collinson says this original scroll is a true piece of American literary history. It’s one continuous flow of words and Collinson says it’s like a “spontaneous rant” with no paragraphs or indentations. He says the book, which helped define the so-called Beat Generation, went on display in Iowa City last week and Collinson is anticipating many admirers. The manuscript will be shown through March 13. Admission is free.
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