Published: May 29, 2001
NEW YORK CITY – “It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow,” said Dean Moriarty in On The Road, and his words are symbolic of the immense interest generated by the original typescript scroll of most famous of all Beat novels in the May 22 sale of printed books and manuscripts at Christie’s New York.
Several bidders courted the auctioneer in pursuit of the literary tour de force. The final bid came from Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts football team, who purchased the On The Road scroll for $2.4 million, elevating the scroll to the position of most expensive literary manuscript ever to have been sold at auction.
“I am very excited about the purchase and intend to share this scroll with all of Jack Kerouac’s fans, be they scholars, students or readers,” commented Irsay after the sale. “I do not feel I own this great work, I simply borrowed it and will be its keeper until some day someone else will step into that role.”
Irsay said he is planning eventually to exhibit the On The Road scroll at an Indiana institution.
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