Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kerouac's On the Road: Always in Vogue

(From the dept of Never Too Late to Notice)

I'd forgotten about this, or maybe I never realized it -- there's something I have in common with Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road: The book, the most durable piece of writing produced by the group of writers associated with the Beat movement, was published on Sept. 5, the same day/date (but not year) that I was born.

On the Road, which still sells at the rate of about 100,000 copies a year, celebrated its 50th anniversary on the day that I turned, well, 30/16. Viking just published a new edition of the rambling, ecstatic road novel, along with On the Road: The Original Scroll (Kerouac's original, unedited version of the book) and John Leland's book-length essay Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of 'On the Road' (They're Not What You Think).

(Of course, Why Kerouac Matters isn't to be confused with Pete Hamill's Why Sinatra Matters or Tom Piazza's Why New Orleans Matters)

The most intriguing bit of news regarding Kerouac's novel is the forthcoming movie adaptation from Walter Salles, director of the young-Che-on-the-road flick The Motorcyle Diaries. The latter film's screenwriter Jose Rivera is writing the screenplay for On the Road, slated for release in 2009, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Yes, there is a Tampa Bay area connection to all of this: Kerouac died in St. Petersburg on Oct. 21, 1969. In a recent St. Petersburg Times story by Colette Bancroft, retired USF English professor Larry Broer and actor and retired English professor Kelly Reynolds recounted their encounters with Kerouac. In the same day's paper Bancroft reviews Leland's book.

Leland, by the way, is coming to the St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading, Oct. 27 at USF-St. Petersburg. He will join a Jack Kerouac panel also featuring Kerouac associate David Amram (Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat), Christopher Felver (Beat) and Joyce Johnson (Minor Characters).

For more on the Festival of Reading, click here.

Wanna read, see or hear more about On the Road? Click on the below links.

"On the Road at 50" (NY Times)

"People Still Taking to the 'Road' With Kerouac" (CNN)

"Jack Kerouac's 'On the Road': Present at the Creation" (NPR)

The Beat Museum

The Beat Page


DeViantDreamer said...

Thanks for the Great Info!!

Is the Festival Of Reading free?

Anyone know where the Tic Toc Club was located in St.Pete? I can't find it anywhere.

Philip Booth said...

Hi, DeviantDreamer. Thanks for stopping by, and for commenting.

Yes, that festival indeed is free, and lots of fun, with appealing activities for adults and kids alike.

My son, then 10, came with me to catch the tail end of the festival last year (we had soccer or something earlier in the day). We heard a talk by first-rate children's author Roland Smith; and Smith autographed a copy of "Cryptid Hunter" for my son, and posed for a picture with him.
The St. Petersburg campus of USF is really a beautiful setting, too -- close to the kind of hip, active downtown that Tampa can only dream of having, and close to the Dali Museum, too.

I can't tell you the answer to your question about the Tic Toc club, but I'll do a little research and see what I can find.

Philip Booth said...

I just showed my son the schedule for this year - R.L. Stine, the guy responsible for the fantastically successful "Goosebumps" and "Fear Street" series is on the schedule. His exact comment: "No! Oh, my gosh!" So I guess we're booked to hit the fest this year (although I have a jazz gig in Brandon that evening with my group Trio Vibe)

I'm most looking forward to checking out mystery/crime writers Michael Connelly (now a Tampa resident) and Stuart Kaminsky, veteran writing coach Roy Peter Clark, John Leland (Why Kerouac Matters) and, in the poetry department, Peter Meinke and USF prof Jay Hopler.

DeViantDreamer said...

I am interested in all things Kerouac so I'll be checking out John Leland. I've done so much research online tonight that my head is swimming. I'll have to take another look at who else is appearing and do some research for the other authors.

I'm trying to put together an exhaustive website of Jack's life in St.Pete. It's going fairly well although it's depressing. I think Jack would have been miserable anywhere at that point in his life.

The Tic Toc club can hide, but I will find its former location. I'm also interested in Jack's arrest for public urination. If anyone has any information please post it, or email me even if it's been years since this post!! My email is faeriesxy@hotmail.com You can also email any Jack in St.Petersburg questions that you might have!!

Philip since your a jazz player have you ever been to or played Beaux Arts?