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Sometime after writing the script, he became discouraged and filed it away. The manuscript remained in a desk drawer in a New Jersey warehouse until his agent discovered it in 2005.

This year’s collaboration with University of Massachusetts Lowell is the cornerstone of the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival.

Todd Tietchen, an assistant English professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell, has studied the Beat Generation, and said there seems to be renewed interest in Kerouac and the Beats. They asked “tough questions” about post-war society, consumerism and securing the American Dream through mortgages and auto payments, Tietchen said.

“And young people now, as they deal with a challenging job market, are asking those questions,” he said.