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(12 March 1922 - 21 October 1969 / Lowell, Massachusetts)

Quotations

  • ''But then they danced down the street 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!"''
    Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), U.S. author. On the Road, pt. 1, ch. 1 (1957). In an interview in Playboy, June 1959, Kerouac explained the origin of the label "Beat Generation": "John Clellon Holmes ... and I were sitting around trying to think up the meaning of the Lost Generation and the subsequent Existentialism and I said, 'You know, this is really a beat generation' and he leapt up and said 'That's it, that's right!'" The phrase also appeared in Holmes's novel, Go (1952).
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  • ''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 (1922-1969), U.S. author. quoted in New York Journal-American (Dec. 8, 1960).
  • ''All of life is a foreign country.''
    Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), U.S. author. Letter, June 24, 1949. The Beat Vision: A Primary Sourcebook, eds. Arthur Knight and Kit Knight (1987).

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Nebraska

April doesnt hurt here
Like it does in New England
The ground
Vast and brown
Surrounds dry towns
Located in the dust
Of the coming locust
Live for survival, not for 'kicks'
Be a bangtail describer,

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