This post is a little bit of a diversion for me. Even though he was born on this day in 1922 in Massachusetts, it is hard to grow up a New Yorker in the 1970’s and 1980’s without hearing of Jack Kerouac’s writing career. Yet not only did Jack Kerouac have a fascinating writing career, he also had an equally fascinating life. He once said that,”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 like fabulous yellow roman candles.”
Though I did not read his books until adulthood, it was clear that there was a madness to his method, and a method to his madness. His first well-known work, the American classic On the Road was published in 1957. He went on to pen many terrific books in the style of writing he called “spontaneous prose.” Other famous titles include: The Dharma Bums, Dharma, The Subterraneans, Dr. Sax, Mexico City Blues, Maggie Cassidy, Book of Dreams, Big Sur, Visions of Gerard, and Vanity of Duluoz.
In honor of his birthday, here are a few of my favorite Jack Kerouac quotes:
Happy birthday, Jack!