Jack Kerouac quotes
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.
Quotes Jack Kerouac
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)
The Dharma Bums (1958)
„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.“
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.
„My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.“
Source: On the Road: The Original Scroll
„Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.“
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/
„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.“
Not a Kerouac quote, but by Jon Krakauer, from his nonfiction book Into the Wild (1996).
Source: On the Road
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
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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Source: On the Road: the Original Scroll
"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
Variant: Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.
Source: Desolation Angels
„What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.“
Part Two, Ch. 8
Source: On the Road (1957)
„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!"“
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!"
Source: On the Road
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.