In an internal memorandum at Viking Press dated Oct 20, 1953, consulting editor Malcolm Cowley wrote of his impressions and concerns regarding Jack Kerouac's then-unpublished On The Road: "I think it is the great source document of life among the beat or hip generation. Faults: the author is solemn about himself and about Dean. Some of his best episodes would get the book suppressed for obscenity. But I think there is a book here that should and must be published."
On The Road, an iPad app By Penguin Books. Designed and developed by 1K Studios. 147 MB. $16.99 on App Store
That memo _ and other publishing memorabilia, photographs, maps, international book covers, Kerouac's sketches, Kerouac's voice, trivia and mementos that made up the Beat legend _ is bundled in an attractive, pleasantly distracting iPad app called, like the book, "On The Road". While the movie version of the novel, which is showing at Lido, will hopefully prompt the 21st century hip generation to go back to read about the adventures of the original and much more intellectual hip figures, the app is a digital collectible that will appeal to fans and those who are interested not just in the novel, but in the literary climate of mid-century America, the years looked upon by those who missed it (or who existed on a different continent) with suppressed gasp and virtual nostalgia.
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