Slogging On the Road July 30, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm not the only one reading On the Road for the MeCha discussion starting August 16, am I? Now that we voted, and I lost, hope all you victors in our poll, and maybe some of the rest of us who were in the minority, are plugging away at this book.

Reminder: On the Road is the next book in the MetaFilter Book Club on the American Novel Post 1945, and our mission is to read it, review the two Prof. Amy Hungerford lectures on the book, and then discuss on Meta Chat on August 16.
posted by bearwife to MetaFilter Gatherings at 10:57 AM (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I am one of the so-called "victors" but I am going to be on vacation the week of Aug 16, so I do not know how I could take part in this, since I'll have a laptop but net access will be both spotty and infuriating to my spouse (if I take advantage of it).

I am unsure whether or not I committed myself to this time-frame, but whether or not I did, I regret not being able to participate.

(Bearwife, beer's on me at the Safe at some point in the next few seasons.)
posted by Danf at 11:06 AM on July 30, 2010

I've read it at least three times, so I'd be happy to pop into any discussions to balance out the haters, who will inevitably hate.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:44 AM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I abstained from the vote and am not sure whether I'll make it to the book club discussion; I hope I'll get a chance to dive in, because the Lolita thread was fantastic and really opened up some new avenues of contemplation for me.

I've only read On the Road once (and really, really hated it, but that was years ago). I'm sure I could benefit from revisiting it. Even if I can't fit in the discussion in real time, I'll look forward to revisiting the thread when I do get around to re-reading OTR. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by Elsa at 11:50 AM on July 30, 2010

haters, who will inevitably hate.

We've just got to hate. We can't not hate. Do you know what it's like to be a hater -- compelled to hate, doomed to hate, fated by our hated god to hate, living to hate? We eat hate and the hate eats us. We sleep hate, when we're not hating sleep. We hate the dawn, we hate the noonday sun, we hate the gloaming rays. We hate the dark of night. An inky black hate, pit of the dank soul, that night hate. We hate the hatred, but a hater's gotta hate. We cry hate. We rend the hate from our hot hating souls. The hate crushes us. It destroys us! We melt away into the air hating the world hating the UNIVERSE THE DYING EMBERS OF JOY OF LIFE WE ARE HATING THE HATEY HATE HATEHATEHATE
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:37 PM on July 30, 2010 [8 favorites]

So we aren't reading Twilight? I suppose I'll just set all my stuffed animals up on the couch again so they can ignore me some more. But our book club rule is that the one who brings the cookies and wine gets to pick the book (I handed out the printouts of the rules and bylaws and none of them even picked it up or glanced at it when I put it down in front of them), and I don't see any of them getting off their duffs to go to the grocery store.

Then again, I'm the only one that gets drunk, so maybe they're right for shunning me. But still...
posted by anniecat at 12:44 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Excellent On The Road seasoned with Alan Ginsberg style going there, Devils Rancher!
posted by bearwife at 12:56 PM on July 30, 2010

Also, Danf, I may take you up on that beer in the future, but meanwhile, why not drop in on the MeCha thread when you return from vacation?

Anniecat, we really hope you join us, provided of course you never again mention that so-called book series with the title beginning with T.
posted by bearwife at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2010

I'm almost finished with it... an initial burst of excitement pushed me through page 150 or so, only to hit a brick wall once I tired of hearing about going upstairs for a beer, and everything was happening, and Dean chatted up some gone pretty girl, and then we were downstairs in the bar, listening to a blower blow, and he had it, and he held onto it, longer than anyone I'd ever seen hold on to it at once, and Dean was shouting "Yes! Yass! Yes!" and everything was falling apart, and we went down to the travel bureau and picked up a Cadillac boat, and Dean ripped off his shirt, and away we went into that dark American continent, the dust of New York City in front of us, and Dean was driving 0.5 of the speed of light and then we were in the ditch and the car was demolished, but it still drove and the owner didn't really care when we gave it back, and then we stumbled around this side of the country awhile before hitching back to San Francisco to do it all YET AGAIN, after which point we once again caught a bus back to New York and on and on and on.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the book at the beginning, and I'm interested to see how it ends, but it all just gets a bit tedious, yknow?
posted by malapropist at 1:49 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

All these Red Dead Redemption players on here and only one vote for Blood Meredian. Pfwshaaaw!!!
posted by Elmore at 1:54 PM on July 30, 2010

Devils Rancher, may I spouse you?
posted by small_ruminant at 3:00 PM on July 30, 2010

Devils Rancher, may I spouse you?

You know you would be entering a world of hate.
posted by Elmore at 3:02 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

And don't think we won't recognize your anonymous AskMe about it all, either.
posted by fleacircus at 3:21 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just found my lecture notes that I printed off ages ago. That was going to be my bedtime reading this evening.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the book at the beginning, and I'm interested to see how it ends, but it all just gets a bit tedious, yknow?

Yes, Malapropist, we are reading the same book! I can't wait to hear what this fancy university professor is going to say about this book, because, I have to say I can believe that he typed it out in one burst on a continuous sheet of paper. It reads like a run-on sentence.

Also, I'm out in the woods on August 16th. Is there a Part Two MetaChat date, or is the whole discussion to take place that day?
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:40 PM on July 30, 2010

ThatCanadianGirl, just check in on the thread whenever you get back. These discussions keep going for awhile and I am sure our critique of this book will too.
posted by bearwife at 6:12 PM on July 30, 2010

Excellent news, thanks! I'm really interested to figure out what the big deal is about this book. I'm looking forward to this. Off to settle in with my lecture notes now. Good night, all!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:27 PM on July 30, 2010

Whenever this topic comes up, I think of Dean Moriarty. I even think of Old Dean Moriarty, the father we never found. But mostly, I think of Dean Moriarty.

This clip, of Kerouac reading on the Steve Allen Show, has become pretty famous, but it's worth watching, if you haven't seen it, just to see how he liked to hear his own work and to hear his voice. (The passage he reads roughly corresponds to the end of On The Road, but with a passage from Visions of Cody included.)

I have to say I can believe that he typed it out in one burst on a continuous sheet of paper. It reads like a run-on sentence.

In fact, Kerouac worked on the text for a longer period of time and in fits and starts, though the draft was finally typed on a single "scroll," which were sheets of paper cut and taped end-to-end. The text was also edited significantly before publication. Later, Kerouac regretted subjecting his manuscript to that degree of editing and frequently claimed that the even more stylistically free prose of Cody was what he'd wanted Road to be all along.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:28 PM on July 30, 2010

Don't you know that god is pooh-bear?
posted by nevercalm at 8:55 AM on July 31, 2010

Right, octobersurprise. Seven years, iirc. The Subterraneans is the one he was supposed to have banged out in several days on long roll of paper.
posted by notyou at 9:03 AM on July 31, 2010

I can't say anything good about the book, so I'll only say bad. No wait. If you can't say something good, then... I can't say something good so I won't say anything at all. Hmmm. that didn't work. By saying that I can't say something good, I've already said something bad. I think I was supposed to say nothing. Oh dear. I've screwed this up.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2010

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