Big Sur Quotes

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Big Sur Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
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Big Sur Quotes (showing 1-30 of 63)
“It always makes me proud to love the world somehow- hate's so easy compared.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“On soft Spring nights I'll stand in the yard under the stars - Something good will come out of all things yet - And it will be golden and eternal just like that - There's no need to say another word.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“I feel guilty for being a member of the human race.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“It'll take you eternities to get rid of me,' she adds sadly, which makes me jealous, I want her to say I'll never get rid of her - I wanta be chased till eternity till I catch her.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And when the fog's over and the stars and the moon come out at night it'll be a beautiful sight.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“The empty blue sky of space says 'All this comes back to me, then goes again, and comes back again, then goes again, and I don't care, it still belongs to me”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“She talks with a broken heart - Her voice lutes brokenly like a heart lost, musically too, like in a lost grove, it's almost too much to bear sometimes like some fantastic futuristic Jerry Southern singer in a nightclub who steps up to the mike in the spotlight in Las Vegas but doesn't even have to sing, just talk, to make men sigh and women wonder I guess...”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“Nothing ever happened - Not even this ”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“The more ups and downs, the more joy I feel. The greater the fear, the greater the happiness I feel.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And in the flush of the first few days of joy I confidently tell myself (not expecting what I'll do in three weeks only) 'no more dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world, no booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks and junkies and everybody, no more I ask myself the question O why is God torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters, walk around, no more self-imposed agony...it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that after all this whole surface of the world as we know it now will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time...Yay, for this, more aloneness”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“cliches are truisms and all truisms are true”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“But I remember seeing a mess of leaves suddenly go skittering in the wind and into the creek, then floating rapidly down the creek towards the sea, making me feel a nameless horror even then of 'Oh my God, we're all being swept away to sea no matter what we know or say or do”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“One fast move or I'm gone,' I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimisn you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca drink, or Mescaline take, or Peyote goop up with -”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“You were my last chance' she's said but don't all women say that? - But can it be by 'last chance' she doesn't mean mere marriage but some profoundly sad realization of something in me she really needs to go on living, at least that impression coming across anyway on the force of all the gloom we've shared -”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“O hell, I'm sick of life - If I had any guts I'd drown myself in that tiresome water but that wouldn't be getting it over at all, I can just see the big transformations and plans jellying down there to curse us up in some other wretched suffering form eternities of it - I guess that's what the kid feels - She looks so sad down there wandering Ophelialike in bare feet among thunders.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“It's hard to explain and best thing to do is not be false.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“and I shudder sometimes to think of all that stellar mystery of how she IS going to get me in a future lifetime, wow - And I seriously do believe that will be my salvation, too.
A long way to go.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“We all agree it's too big to keep up with, that we're surrounded by life, that we'll never understand it, so we center it all in by swigging Scotch from the bottle and when it's empty I run out of the car and buy another one, period.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“An awful realization that I have been fooling myself all my life thinking there was a next thing to do to keep the show going and actually I'm just a sick clown and so is everybody else...”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“Lying mouth to mouth, kiss to kiss in the pillow dark, loin to loin in unbelievable surrendering sweetness so distant from all our mental fearful abstractions it makes you wonder why men have termed God antisexual somehow (p. 148)”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“Our radio plays rhythm and blues as we pass the joint back and forth in jutjawed silence both looking ahead with big private thoughts now so vast we can't communicate them anymore and if we tried it would take a million years and a billion books ― Too late, too late, the history of everything we've seen together and separately has become a library in itself ― The shelves pile higher ― They're full of misty documents or documents of the Mist - The mind has convoluted in every tuckaway every whichaway tuckered hole till there's no more the expressing of our latest thoughts let alone the old.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And it's finally only in the woods you get that nostalgia for "cities" at last, you dream of long gray journeys to cities where soft evenings'll unfold like Paris but never seeing how sickening it will be because of the primordial innocence of health and stillnes in the wilds- So I tell myself "Be Wise.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“But there's no joy at all, people say "Oh well he's drunk and happy let him sleep it off"--The poor drunkard is *crying*--He's crying for his mother and father and great brother and great friend, he's crying for help. (p.111)”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“...because to me the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind, there has to be no reality anyway to what I suppose is going on (p. 153)”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And as far as I can see the world is too old for us to talk about it with our new words ― We will pass just as quietly through life (passing through, passing through) as the 10th century people of this valley only with a little more noise and a few bridges and dams and bombs that wont even last a million years ― The world being just what it is, moving and passing through, actually alright in the long view and nothing to complain about.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“...because in one sense the drinker learns wisdom, in the words of Goethe or Blake or whichever it was "The pathway to wisdom lies through excess”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“I can hear myself whining again 'Why does God torture me?' - But anybody who's never had a delirium tremens even in their early stages may not understand that it's not so much a physical pain but a mental anguish indescribable to those ignorant people who don't drink and accuse drinkers of irresponsibility - The mental anguish is so intense that you feel you have betrayed your very birth, the efforts nay the birth pangs of your mother when she bore you and delivered you to the world, you've betrayed every effort your father ever made to feed you and raise you and make you strong and my God even 'educate' you for life, you feel a guilt so deep you identify yourself with the devil and God seems far away abandoning you to your sick silliness - You feel sick in the greatest sense of the world, breathing without believing it, sicksicksick, your soul groans, you look at your helpless hands as tho they were on fire and you can't move to help, you look at the world with dead eyes, there's on your face an expression of incalculable repining like a constipated angel on a cloud - In fact it's actually a cancerous look you throw on the world, through browngray wool fuds over your eyes - Your tongue is white and disgusting, your teeth are stained, your hair seems to have dried out overnight, there are huge mucks in the corners of your eyes, greases on your nose, froth at the sides of your moth: in short that very disgusting and well-known hideousness everybody knows who's walked past a city street drunk in the Boweries of the world”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And I realize the unbearable anguish of insanity: how uninformed people can be thinking insane people are "happy," O God, in fact it was Irwin Garden once warned me not to think the madhouses are full of "happy nuts." (p. 200)”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“Any drinker knows how the process works: the first day you get drunk is okay, the morning after means a big head but so you can kill that easy with a few more drinks and a meal, but if you pass up the meal and go on to another night's drunk, and wake up to keep the toot going, and continue on to the fourth day, there'll come one day when the drinks wont take effect because you're chemically overloaded and you'll have to sleep it off but cant sleep any more because it was alcohol itself that made you sleep those last five nights, so delirium sets in ― Sleeplessness, sweat, trembling, a groaning feeling of weakness where your arms are numb and useless, nightmares, (nightmares of death)... well, there's more of that up later.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur
“And a bird who was on a crooked branch is suddenly gone without my even hearing him.”
Jack Kerouac, Big Sur

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