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Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” Quotes (85 Quotes)


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  • I never saw such crazy musicians. Everybody in Frisco blew. It was the end of the continent; they didn't give a damn.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • 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.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Oh these dumb dumb dumb Okies, they'll never change, how com-pletely and how unbelievably dumb, the moment it comes time to act, this paralysis, scared, hysterical, nothing frightens em more than what they WANT- it's MY FATHER MY FATER MY FATHER all over again!
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • And though Remi was having worklife problems and bad lovelife with a sharp-tongued woman, he at least had learned to laugh almost better than anyone in the world, and I saw all the fun we were going to have in Frisco.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled - Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon field; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


  • He wasn't drunk on liquor, just drunk on what he liked - crowds of people milling.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • We tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless emptiness.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Isn't it true that you start your life as a sweet child believing in everything under his father's roof, then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you you you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Prison is where you promise yourself the right to live.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • As we rode in the bus in the weird phosphorescent void of the Lincoln Tunnel we leaned on each other with fingers waving and yelled and talked excitedly, and I was beginning to get the bug like Dean.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • The waves are Chinese, but the earth is an Indian thing.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • 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.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • What difference does it make after all?--anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what's heaven? what's earth? All in the mind.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I suddenly began to realize that everybody in America is a natural-born thief.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


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