On the Road. Jack Kerouac.
On the Road
On the Road

On the Road

New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1957. First Printing. Hardcover. "After World War I a certain group of restless, searching Americans came to be called "The Lost Generation." This group found its truest voice in the writings of the young Hemingway. For a good many of the same reasons after World War II another group, roaming America in a wild, desperate search for identity and purpose, became known as "The Beat Generation." Jack Kerouac is the voice of this group and this is his novel." (from front flap) On the Road, along with Allen Ginsberg's Howl & William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, ignited the Beat Generation into a popular phenomenon that in turn paved the way for the seismic literary & cultural upheavals that culminated a decade later. Famously written on a single roll of paper in a nonstop benzedrine-fueled binge of only several weeks during 1951, it gestated in Kerouac's rucksack until finally published in a highly edited form in September 1957, heralded by an enthusiastic review in a trusted "establishment" newspaper's book review. As with all of Kerouac's novels, this is really a memoir, in this case of Kerouac's ("Sal Paradise") adventures back & forth across the American continent during 1947-1950 with Neal Cassady ("Dean Moriarty"), & their encounters with WSB ("Old Bull Lee"), Ginsberg ("Carlo Marx"), Herbert Huncke ("Elmer Hassel") & many other of their real-life co-members of the founding Beat Generation. On its 50th anniversary (2007), On the Road was re-published in its original, unedited "scroll" version. We offer here the first edition, first printing of On the Road, hardcover in unclipped first issue dust jacket with blue & red stripes across upper & lower edges of back cover. This & all other points in Charters A2 (a), pg. 17, are present. The very centerpiece of any serious Kerouac collection; among the most iconic relics of the Beat Generation- as if you held the literary equivalent of the Big Bang in your hands. Book in fine condition with only mild rubbing of black cloth front, back covers & spine; tiny bumps with loss of cloth at upper & lower right corners of front cover, even tinier with hardly any such loss at upper spine corners, otherwise no discernible wear at all edges & corners; significant chipping to white letter "A" of "ON THE ROAD" on front cover; miniscule chipping/ loss of ink to a few letters on spine (quite possibly as issued); light browning, rubbing & occasional tiny spots to edges of text block; moderate warpage of spine & text block towards front. Interior very fine with only very light browning at blank margins & edges of endpapers & page leaves. Unclipped, unrestored first issue dust jacket in relatively good-to-near-fine condition with mild-to-moderate rubbing, light browning, scratching & creasing of front, back covers, spine & flaps; mild wear & a few tiny bumps, chips & closed tears at all edges & corners of same; one very thin line with loss of black across front cover just at top of illustration; vertical series of spots & rubbings with loss of black near & at right edge of same; loss of shiny paper across left area of inner front flap; small stain at upper left corner of same; about one square inch of repair tape at upper left corner of inner front cover; vertical line of repair tape & residue with visible loss of shiny paper along right edge of inner rear flap; a few very small, closed tears at edges of outer flaps; very small dark spots along lower edges & corners of inner covers & spine; one each of same at lower edges of outer front & rear flaps. Fine / Good- Near Fine. [Item #3337]

Price: $4,000.00

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