And the Beats Go On...
No literary object—first edition, original manuscript, or tear-stained letter from Keats—so deftly illustrates the act of composing or defines the style of a movement like the 120-foot paper scroll Jack Kerouac ran through his typewriter during three weeks in 1951 and published six years later as On the Road. James S. Irsay, the pop-culture-loving owner of the Indianapolis Colts, bought the scroll from Kerouac's estate in 2001 and has been touring it around the country; this fall it serves as the centerpiece of "And the Beats Go On...," Columbia College Chicago's sprawling celebration of beat culture. Among the takes on the topic is a collection of contemporary artists' books that play on the whole scroll idea—which sounds fun if not practical.
The event also includes readings, movie screenings (including Kerouac, Alfred Leslie, and Robert Franks's 1959 Pull My Daisy), photography exhibits, panel discussions, interactive installations, and concerts by the likes of David Amram, who accompanied Kerouac at readings in the 1950s and appeared in and wrote music for Pull My Daisy. A Beat Generation Symposium features two days of academic panels and lectures, each capped off at 7 PM with a reading (by Joanne Kyger, Fri 10/10, and Diane di Prima, Sat 10/11). And then there's something that would probably befuddle the "king of the beatniks": the Virtual Beat Cafe on Second Life. aThe scroll exhibit opens with a reception Fri 10/3, 5:30-8 PM, and runs through 11/26, Center for Book and Paper Arts, 1104 S. Wabash. The Beat Generation Symposium is Fri-Sat 10/10-10/11, Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, eighth floor, $100 (but the poetry readings at the end of the days are free). Amram plays with Fareed Haque Sun 11/2, 8 PM, Morse Theater, 1328 N. Morse, $20, $15 in advance. See colum.edu/beats for the full schedule; all events are free unless otherwise noted. —Patrick Daily