“Soon I’ll find the right words, they’ll be very simple.”
One of the most celebrated writers in American literature, Jack Kerouac helped an entire generation of post-WWII Americans explore a purpose beyond the standard narrative values, spiritual ideologies, and economic materialism that was rampant throughout pre-war America. Alongside prominent beat writers like Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, Kerouac crafted a magnum opus that would later be connected to counterculture movements throughout the 1960s.
His extensive collection of novels, short stories, poetry, journals, letters, and other writings are often littered with long-winded reflections, observations, proclamations, and other mad ramblings about life, love, loss, loneliness, and the search for a new American identity. Constantly pivoting from a recluse searching “...once and for all what is the meaning of all this existence and suffering and going to and fro in vain,” to a seasoned road-warrior exploring the country and sifting through the profound philosophies of Zen Buddhism, Taoism, and the meaning of Dharma, Kerouac’s spontaneous style of prose generates a kind of unpolished wisdom that leaves a lasting impression long after reading.
The insights and quotes assembled in this book have been woven into a patchwork of reoccurring themes found throughout Kerouac’s writings, such as adventure, life, self-reflection, and spirituality are heavily featured, but more niche quotes around topics like cats, coffee, music, and sports can also be found. This collection pulls from prominent novels such as Big Sur, Desolation Angels, The Dharma Bums, On the Road: The Original Scroll, The Subterraneans, Tristessa, Vanity of Duluoz, and Visions of Cody, as well as some of his selected short stories, poems, letters, and journals.
Whether you’re new to Kerouac, searching for inspiration in his words, or are a self-proclaimed “mad one” looking to make sense of it all, this quote book will undoubtedly serve as a go-to reference for the discerning Kerouac reader.
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922, the youngest of three children in a Franco-American family. He attended local Catholic and public schools and won a scholarship to Columbia University in New York City, where he first met Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. His first novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957 and memorializing his adventures with Neal Cassady, that epitomized to the world what became known as the "Beat generation" and made Kerouac one of the most best-known writers of his time. Publication of many other books followed, among them The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, and Big Sur. Kerouac considered all of his autobiographical fiction to be part of "one vast book," The Duluoz Legend. He died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969, at the age of forty-seven.
Sylvia Cunha is a music industry professional with over twenty years of experience in marketing and event creation. She has worked with many well-known musicians, promoters, festivals, and venues and her work has received coverage in Billboard, Pollstar, Deadline Hollywood, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. Her main focus has always been to connect fans with artists, authors, personalities, and brands through unique experiences. Sylvia handles all aspects of marketing and business development for The Jack Kerouac Estate.
The Los Angeles Times has called Sal Paradise Press co-founder Jim Sampas “the thinking person's producer [who has a] reputation for sticking out of the pack.” He has produced numerous projects receiving critical acclaim in such major news outlets as People, Newsweek, CNN, The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and NPR. Jim is the Literary Executor of The Jack Kerouac Estate.