Last month, i-D paid a visit to the 36 metre-long scroll on which Jack Kerouac typed On The Road, on display in Paris. But it was a far smaller piece of paper that really caught our eye.
After penning the legendary coming-of-age tale, Kerouac sent this letter to fellow bad boy Marlon Brando. Bubbling with the youthful energy that characterises the book, the plea to the king of 1950’s Hollywood to buy the film rights has a charming honesty to it. “Don’t worry about structure, I know how to compress and re-arrange”, Kerouac tells him, before getting to the point: “All I want out of this is to be able to establish myself and my mother a trust fund for life so I can really go roaming.” Brando never responded, but the devastatingly handsome Garrett Hedlund has taken the role of Dean Moriarty in his stride and with the release of Walter Salles’ film this week, Kerouac finally gets his wish.
On The Road opens October 12th in UK cinemas. The scroll will be on display at the British Library, London, until 27th December 2012. Read i-D’s interview with Garrett Hedlund in The Just Kids Issue here.
Text: Oscar Quine