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


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  • It was my dream that screwed up, the stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America instead of trying various roads and routes.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Somebody had tipped the American continent like a pinball machine and all the goofballs had come rolling to LA in the southwest corner. I cried for all of us. There was no end to the American sadness and the American madness. Someday we'll all start laughing and roll on the ground when we realize how funny it's been.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • They spent all week saving pennies and went out Saturdays to spend fifty bucks in three hours.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I believed in a good home, in sane and sound living, in good food, good times, work, faith and hope. I have always believed in these things. It was with some amazement that I realized I was one of the few people in the world who really believed in these things without going around making a dull middle class philosophy out of it. I was suddenly left with nothing in my hands but a handful of crazy stars.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


  • I was having a wonderful time and the whole world opened up before me because I had no dreams.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Keep it kickwriting at all costs too, that is, write only what kicks you and keeps you overtime awake from sheer mad joy.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Dean and I both swayed to the rhythm and the IT of our final excited joy in talking and living to the blank traced end of all innumerable riotous angelic particulars that had been lurking in our souls all our lives.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • They were like the man with the dungeon stone and gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I could hear Dean, blissful and blabbering and frantically rocking. Only a guy who's spent five years in jail can go to such maniacal helpless extremes; beseeching at the portals of the soft source, mad with a completely phsycial realization of the origins of life-bliss; blindly seeking to return the way he came
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Life is life, and kind is kind
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Texas is undeniable...We were already almost out of America and yet definitely in it and in the middle of where it's maddest.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Dean's California--wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


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