Literature often describes places we are curious about, regardless of whether we know them or not. This blog maps the journeys laid out in selected books and offers reflections corresponding to the various stops. Happy traveling!

Friday, September 21, 2007

On the Road: Selma ("Sabinal"), California

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On the Road: Selma ("Sabinal"), California

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Blogger Thestral said...

Great to see update!
Since Sal met Terry,the story became even more exciting.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Part 1, Chapter 13, Kerouac describes Sabinal as 250 miles from LA which puts it about 30 miles north of Fresno. At Part 2, Chapter 9, he seems to say it lies between Bakersfield and Tulare or considerably south of Fresno. In both cases it seems to be along Hwy 99 and to be a southern pacific railroad stop. How do you know it is Selma?

9:39 PM  
Blogger Michael L. Hess said...

"Sabinal" appears to be a fictionalized California town. There is no town named Sabinal in California. However, Jack was in a relationship with a woman named Bea Franco, who is fictionalized as "Terry" in On the Road. Bea's home town was Selma, California. My guess is that the inconsistency of his placement of the town in two areas was not really important to him, or just sloppy fact checking on his part and that he was in some way concealing the true place and identity of the woman with whom he was involved. After all, most of the people in the book represent people that he hung out with.

Ultimately, though, I am not an expert on the book and it is only speculation on my part. But I had to place "Sabinal" somewhere, and given what I'd seen, Selma seemed as good a place as any.

7:49 AM  

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