Jack Kerouac Quotes


Type: Novelist, poet, painter

Born: March 12, 1922

Died: October 21, 1969

Jack Kerouac (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac) was an American novelist and poet. 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.

Jack Kerouac Quotes

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

The only truth is music.

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy

A scene should be selected by the writer for haunted-ness-of-mind interest.
If you're not haunted by something, as by a dream, a vision, or a memory, which are involuntary, you're not interested or even involved.

Man, wow, there's so many things to do, so many things to write! How to even begin to get it all down and without modified restraints and all hung-up on like literary inhibitions and grammatical fears...

Hell man, I know very well you didn't come to me only to want to become a writer, and after all what do I really know about it except that you've got to stick to it with the energy of a benny addict.

Listen closely... the eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this, and has been going on, and will go on and on. This is because the world is nothing but a dream and is just thought of and the everlasting eternity pays no attention to it.

Yet this book is to prove that no matter how you travel, how 'successful' your tour, or foreshortened, you always learn something and learn to change your thoughts.

Thinking of the stars night after night I begin to realize 'The stars are words' and all the innumerable worlds in the Milky Way are words, and so is this world too. And I realize that no matter where I am, whether in a little room full of thought, or in this endless universe of stars and mountains, it’s all in my mind.

The innumerable worlds in the Milky Way, words.

Hateful bitch of a world, it wouldn't ever last.

And the story of love is a long sad tale ending in graves.

A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life

Pain or love or danger makes you real again....

Be in love with your life, every detail of it.

My eyes were glued on life
and they were full of tears.

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.

But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?

I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.

It is possible for the human spirit to win after all.

After all, a homeless man has reason to cry, everything in the world is pointed against him.

Aw I don't wanta go to no such thing, I just wanta drink in alleys.'...
But you'll miss all that, just for some old wine.'
There's wisdom in wine, goddam it!' I yelled. 'Have a shot!

Way far back in the beginning of the world was the whirlwind warning that we could all be blown away like chips and cry- Men with tired eyes realize it now, and wait to deform and decay- with maybe they have the power of love yet in their hearts just the same, I just don't know what that word means anymore- All I want is an ice cream cone

the golden eternity is { }

Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another til I drop.

I'd rather be thin than famous
but I'm fat
paste that in your broadway show

And the Hippos were boiled in their tanks!

On the wall hung a picture of an ugly old Cape Cod house. His friends said, 'Why do you have that ugly thing hanging there?' and Bull said, 'I like it because it's ugly.

I dunno, remember when we were in East St. Louis with George, and Jack you said you'd love those beautiful dancing girls if you knew they would live forever as beautiful as they are?" (p. 173)

Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.

I tried to bring up boyfriends and sex. Her great dark eyes surveyed me with emptiness and a kind of chagrin that reached back generations and generations in her blood from not having done what was crying to be done-whatever it was, and everybody knows what it was.

And all the insects ceased in honor of the moon.

Sometimes I'd yell questions at the rocks and trees, and across gorges, or yodel - "What is the meaning of the void?" The answer was perfect silence, so I knew.

Sixty three sunsets I saw revolve on that perpendicular hill – mad raging sunsets pouring in sea foams of cloud through unimaginable crags like the crags you grayly drew in pencil as a child, with every rose-tint of hope beyond, making you feel just like them, brilliant and bleak beyond words. –

...because to me the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind, there has to be no reality anyway to what I suppose is going on (p. 153)

..history is best explained dramatically, because for God's sake nobody's going to tell me that massive Homeric war so to speak, between the Achaens and the Iliums was caused merely by some economic factor concerning trade...

If critics say your work stinks it's because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered "dangerous" but set in place in their compartmental understandings.

Parade my trouble in front of you guys? Make you realize that my heart is broken . . . that as long as I live I'll have chains dragging me down to the oceans of sad tears that my feet are wet in already.

Gus was looking at him for confirmation of all his sorrows.

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.

I have such a hopeless dream of walking or being there at night, nothing happens, I just pass, everything is unbearably over with.

When you've understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can't understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.

In the hall itself the din of the music - for this is the real way to play a jukebox and what it was originally for - was so tremendous that it shattered Dean and Stan and me for a moment in the realization that we had never dared to play music as we wanted, and this was how loud we wanted.

The little flowers grew everywhere around the rocks, and no one had asked them to grow, or me to grow.

Don't tell them too much about your soul. They're waiting for just that.

How is there laughter, how is there joy, as this world is always burning?

My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

A poet is a blind optimist.
The world is against him for
many reasons. But the
poet persists. He believes
that he is on the right track,
no matter what any of his
fellow men say. In his
eternal search for truth, the
poet is alone.
He tries to be timeless in a
society built on time.

I feel impossibly sad and like I'll die, what can we do?

Down on the lake rosy reflections of celestial vapor appeared, and I said, "God, I love you" and looked to the sky and really meant it. "I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other." To the children and the innocent it's all the same.

Work from your own side of literature/ & room fetish, not "publishing's" -

E anche se aveva problemi di lavoro e una storia infelice con una donna dalla lingua lunga, almeno aveva imparato a ridere meglio di chiunque altro al mondo.

Cos'è quella sensazione che si prova quando ci si allontana in macchina dalle persone e le si vede recedere nella pianura fino a diventare macchioline e disperdersi? È il mondo troppo grande che ci sovrasta, è l'Addio. Ma intanto, ci si proietta in avanti verso una nuova, folle avventura sotto il cielo.

Basta seguire la strada e prima o poi si fa il giro del mondo. Non può finire in nessun altro posto, no?

Non si può vivere in questo mondo, ma non c'è nessun altro posto dove andare.

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