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Jack Kerouac Told Publisher: Send Me a Contract or I'm "On the Road"

Jack Kerouac issued an ultimatum re: ON THE ROAD to his editor at Viking - peoplewhowrite

Postcard from the edge

Writers can be a wimpy lot when it comes to dealing with the publishing establishment, but it seems a little tough talk can go a long way. Frustrated by his publisher’s delayed response to his novel On the Road, Jack Kerouac fired off this heated postcard to editor Malcolm Cowley. According to The Gothamist, the postcard was sent months after Cowley told Kerouac: “Automatic writing is fine for a start, but it has to be revised and put into shape or people will quite properly refuse to read it—and what you need now is to be read, not to be exhibited as a sort of natural phenomenon like [the] Old Faithful geyser that sends up a jet of steam and mud every hour on the hour.” The Gothamist adds, “Kerouac’s postcard had a photo of Yellowstone National Park on the front.”

Head to OpenCulture.com for more postcard missives by Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, and other writers.

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One response to “Jack Kerouac Told Publisher: Send Me a Contract or I'm "On the Road"

  1. Pingback: What a "Bro" Wants to Read | people who write

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