Jack Kerouac quotes

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Jack Kerouac

Birthdate: 12. March 1922
Date of death: 21. October 1969

Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet of French-Canadian ancestry.He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since his death, Kerouac's literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, including The Town and the City, On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea Is My Brother, Satori In Paris, and Big Sur.

Works

On the Road
On the Road
Jack Kerouac
The Dharma Bums
The Dharma Bums
Jack Kerouac
Big Sur
Big Sur
Jack Kerouac

Quotes Jack Kerouac

„I'm writing this book because we're all going to die“

—  Jack Kerouac, book Visions of Cody

In the loneliness of my life, my father dead, my brother dead, my mother far away, my sister and my wife far away, nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world, a sweet attention, that now are left to guide and disappear their own way into the common dark of all our death, sleeping in me raw bed, alone and stupid...
Visions of Cody (1960)

„He saw that all the struggles of life were incessant, laborious, painful, that nothing was done quickly, without labor, that it had to undergo a thousand fondlings, revisings, moldings, addings, removings, graftings, tearings, correctings, smoothings, rebuildings, reconsiderings, nailings, tackings, chippings, hammerings, hoistings, connectings — all the poor fumbling uncertain incompletions of human endeavor.“

—  Jack Kerouac, book The Town and the City

The Town and the City (1950)
Context: He saw that all the struggles of life were incessant, laborious, painful, that nothing was done quickly, without labor, that it had to undergo a thousand fondlings, revisings, moldings, addings, removings, graftings, tearings, correctings, smoothings, rebuildings, reconsiderings, nailings, tackings, chippings, hammerings, hoistings, connectings — all the poor fumbling uncertain incompletions of human endeavor. They went on forever and were forever incomplete, far from perfect, refined, or smooth, full of terrible memories of failure and fears of failure, yet, in the way of things, somehow noble, complete, and shining in the end. This he could sense even from the old house they lived in, with its solidly built walls and floors that held together like rock: some man, possibly an angry pessimistic man, had built the house long ago, but the house stood, and his anger and pessimism and irritable labourious sweats were forgotten; the house stood, and other men lived in it and were sheltered well in it.

„Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.“

—  Jack Kerouac

Sometimes credited to Jack Kerouac, from his book The Dharma Bums. It is not a quote by Kerouac. It first appeared as a very brief description of The Dharma Bums in Esquire's list of "The 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read" in 2010: http://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/g96/80-books/?slide=71. It was later copied by Kilburn Hall in his list of 30 "Books and Authors Every Man Should Read" which he first posted online in 2012: https://kilburnhall.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/the-books-and-authors-every-man-should-read/
Misattributed

„I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.“

—  Jack Kerouac, book On the Road

Not a Kerouac quote, but by Jon Krakauer, from his nonfiction book Into the Wild (1996).
Misattributed
Source: On the Road

„Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.“

—  Jack Kerouac

This is not a quote by Kerouac. It's a quote by CBS broadcaster Charles Kuralt who used to present a TV news segment called 'On the Road' (which is probably how the confusion arose). This particular statement by Kuralt was made in May 1996 to students of Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=19960527&id=yf8yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yQcGAAAAIBAJ&pg=3106,5606314
Misattributed

„The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view.“

—  Jack Kerouac, book On the Road

Misattributed
Source: Often attributed to Kerouac's On the Road, the quote cannot be found in that book, nor in any of Kerouac's other published works.

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„Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.“

—  Jack Kerouac

"Belief & Technique For Modern Prose: List of Essentials" in a letter to Arabelle Porter (28 May 1955); published in Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters 1940-1956 (1995). Sometimes misquoted as "Be in love with your life every minute of it."
Variant: Be in love with your life every detail of it

„So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry“

—  Jack Kerouac, book Desolation Angels

Variant: Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.
Source: Desolation Angels

„The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"“

—  Jack Kerouac, book On the Road

Part One, Ch. 1
On the Road (1957)
Context: They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

„Soon I'll find the right words, they'll be very simple.“

—  Jack Kerouac, book The Dharma Bums

Some of the Dharma (1997)
Source: Sometimes paraphrased as "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple" or "Someday I will find the right words … ", and sometimes misattributed to The Dharma Bums rather than to Some of the Dharma.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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