Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Keeper of the Scroll

I want to be the keeper of the scroll. What is already an impressive sounding job title becomes even more so once people realise the scroll in your charge is the original manuscript to Jack Kerouac's On the Road. See, Jack taped 120ft of architect's tracing paper together, so that he could dash off his novel in one coffee-fuelled, type-written, three-week sitting. And in 2001 - in a fittingly odd twist to the scroll's tale - the owner of the Indianapolis Colts football team bought the first fifty feet of the lite-relic and sent it on a tour around the world - under the watchful eye of the keeper of the scroll. The keeper has recently been to London and, as with all the other cities he's visited, has very carefully unfurled it, this time in the British Library. So, although it's unlikely I'll ever attain his enviable employment, I can at least go and sigh over the scroll until he returns to re-furl in December...