Beatniks/J.Kerouac: Accept loss forever

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.”

“My manners, abominable at times, can be sweet. As I grew older I became a drunk. Why? Because I like ecstasy of the mind. I’m a wretch. But I love, love.” Satori in Paris (1966)

Jack Kerouac (12 March 1922 – 21 October 1969), born Jean-Louis Lebris Kerouac, was an American novelist, poet and artist. He was a central figure among Beat Generation writers.

“Who knows, my God, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty?” “The Origins of the Beat Generation” (June 1959)

The Beat Generation was a group of American post-World War II writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired. Central elements of “Beat” culture included rejection of received standards, innovations in style, experimentation with drugs, alternative sexualities, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and explicit portrayals of the human condition

Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch (1959) and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature.Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that ultimately helped to liberalize publishing in the United States

The term “Beatnik” was coined by Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle on 2 April 1958, a portmanteau on the name of the recent Russian satellite Sputnik and Beat Generation. This suggested that beatniks were “far out of the mainstream of society” and “possibly pro-Communist”.

 Caen’s term stuck and became the popular label associated with a new stereotype — the man with a goatee and beret reciting nonsensical poetry and playing bongo drums, while free-spirited women wearing black leotards dance.

    “Nobody knows whether we were catalysts or invented something, or just the froth riding on a wave of its own. We were all three, I suppose.”  – Allen Ginsberg

     “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 John, this is really a beat generation’; and he leapt up and said, ‘That’s it, that’s right!'” – Jack Kerouac

    “But yet, but yet, woe, woe unto those who think that the Beat Generation means crime, delinquency, immorality, amorality … woe unto those who attack it on the grounds that they simply don’t understand history and the yearning of human souls … woe in fact unto those who make evil movies about the Beat Generation where innocent housewives are raped by beatniks! … woe unto those who spit on the Beat Generation, the wind’ll blow it back.” – Jack Kerouac

He saw that all the struggles of life were incessant, laborious, painful, that nothing was done quickly, without labor, that it had to undergo a thousand fondlings, revisings, moldings, addings, removings, graftings, tearings, correctings, smoothings, rebuildings, reconsiderings, nailings, tackings, chippings, hammerings, hoistings, connectings — all the poor fumbling uncertain incompletions of human endeavor.” The Town and the City (1950)

“He did more in one lifetime than most people do in ten.” Philip Whalen on J.Kerouac

On the Road (1957)

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you se their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

I read On the Road in maybe 1959. It changed my life like it changed everyone else’s. Bob Dylan

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them; disagree with them; glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”  – Used in the Apple “Think Different” marketing campaign and sometimes attributed to Kerouac 

“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

“If you’re working with words, it’s got to be poetry. I grew up with Kerouac. If he hadn’t wrote On The Road, the Doors would have never existed. Morrison read On The Road down in Florida, and I read it in Chicago. That sense of freedom, spirituality, and intellectuality in On The Road — that’s what I wanted in my own work.” Ray Manzarek, The Doors’

 

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4 thoughts on “Beatniks/J.Kerouac: Accept loss forever

  1. Hey really enjoyed the pics and quotes—the beat poets were among the first poets that I discovered that really fired my imagination—Reading Kerouac’s On the Road and Ginsberg’s Howl showed me the beauty and power that can be packed into text on a page. Your post helped me revisit those early years of college.
    I started a video blog myself a couple of months ago in an attempt to share art and articulate some of the perspective and experiences I’ve had as a recording artist. Just being part of the community on here has been very educational!
    Anyway, keep up the good posts—I look forward to checking them out!

    • Wow!Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate your kind words, and certainly I will start following your blog, since we have similar interests. It s great to share! Best Regards

  2. Pingback: “The Life and Times Surrounding Jack Kerouac’s 1957 On the Road” | MFA Creative Writing Portfolio

  3. Pingback: The Hippo Conspiracy | MFA Creative Writing Portfolio

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