Jack Kerouac Quotes

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Jack Kerouac

Kerouac’s Naval Reserve Enlistment photograph, 1943
Born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac[1]
(1922-03-12)March 12, 1922
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died October 21, 1969(1969-10-21) (aged 47)
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Novelist, poet, painter
Nationality American
Alma mater Columbia University
Literary movement Beat
Notable works On the Road
The Dharma Bums
Big Sur
Spouse Edie Parker (m. 1944–48)
Joan Haverty (m. 1950–51)
Stella Sampas (m. 1966–69)

My manners, abominable at times, can be sweet.
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.
Jack Kerouac
The Catholic Church is a weird church. Much mysticism is sown broadspread from its ritual mysteries till it extends into the very lives of its constituents and parishoners.
Jack Kerouac
I really hate to write.
I don't really go out at all.
All our best men are laughed at in this nightmare land.
Accept loss forever.
You can't teach the old maestro a new tune.
Avoid the world, it's just a lot of dust and drag and means nothing in the end.
Jack Kerouac
My witness is the empty sky.
I didn't dictate sections of 'Visions of Cody'. I typed up a segment of taped conversation with Neal Cassady, or Cody, talking about his early adventures in L.A. It's four chapters.
Jack Kerouac
Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars.
My father and my mother and my sister and I have always voted Republican, always.
Jack Kerouac
I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.
Jack Kerouac
Notoriety and public confession in the literary form is a frazzler of the heart you were born with, believe me.
Jack Kerouac
As you get older, you get more... genealogical.
Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.
I didn't dictate sections of 'Visions of Cody.' I typed up a segment of taped conversation with Neal Cassady, or Cody, talking about his early adventures in L.A.
Jack Kerouac
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… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.
Jack Kerouac
I'm not a beatnik. I'm a Catholic.
Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.
Jack Kerouac
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
Jack Kerouac
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.
Jack Kerouac
All my editors since Malcolm Cowley have had instructions to leave my prose exactly as I wrote it. In the days of Malcolm Cowley, with 'On the Road' and 'The Dharma Bums', I had no power to stand by my style for better or for worse.
Jack Kerouac
My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.
Jack Kerouac
It's hard to write haiku. I write long, silly Indian poems.
Symbolism is alright in 'fiction,' but I tell true life stories simply about what happened to people I knew.
Jack Kerouac
I know who the great poets are.
My story is endless. I put in a teletype roll, you know, you know what they are, you have them in newspapers, and run it through there and fix the margins and just go, go – just go, go, go.
Jack Kerouac
It is not my fault that certain so-called bohemian elements have found in my writings something to hang their peculiar beatnik theories on.
Jack Kerouac
I made myself famous by writing 'songs' and lyrics about the beauty of the things I did and ugliness, too.
Jack Kerouac
If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.
Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.
Jack Kerouac
All of life is a foreign country.
Mankind is like dogs, not gods – as long as you don't get mad they'll bite you – but stay mad and you'll never be bitten. Dogs don't respect humility and sorrow.
Jack Kerouac
I'm really Wallace Beery in 'The Champ.'
I got all my boyhood in vanilla winter waves around the kitchen stove.