Beat Generation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "beat-generation" (showing 1-30 of 36)
Jack Kerouac
“The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way--a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word 'beat' spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America--beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction--We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer--It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation--The same thing was almost going on in the postwar France of Sartre and Genet and what's more we knew about it--But as to the actual existence of a Beat Generation, chances are it was really just an idea in our minds--We'd stay up 24 hours drinking cup after cup of black coffee, playing record after record of Wardell Gray, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Willie Jackson, Lennie Tristano and all the rest, talking madly about that holy new feeling out there in the streets- -We'd write stories about some strange beatific Negro hepcat saint with goatee hitchhiking across Iowa with taped up horn bringing the secret message of blowing to other coasts, other cities, like a veritable Walter the Penniless leading an invisible First Crusade- -We had our mystic heroes and wrote, nay sung novels about them, erected long poems celebrating the new 'angels' of the American underground--In actuality there was only a handful of real hip swinging cats and what there was vanished mightily swiftly during the Korean War when (and after) a sinister new kind of efficiency appeared in America, maybe it was the result of the universalization of Television and nothing else (the Polite Total Police Control of Dragnet's 'peace' officers) but the beat characters after 1950 vanished into jails and madhouses, or were shamed into silent conformity, the generation itself was shortlived and small in number.”
Jack Kerouac

Allen Ginsberg
“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.”
Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems

William S. Burroughs
“O death where is thy sting? The man is never on time...”
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

William S. Burroughs
“Exterminate all rational thought”
William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch: The Restored Text

Jack Kerouac
“I forgave everybody, I gave up, I got drunk.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth...

without taxes”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Jack Kerouac
“It’s a sort of furtiveness … Like we were a generation of furtive. You know, with an inner knowledge there’s no use flaunting on that level, the level of the ‘public’, a kind of beatness – I mean, being right down to it, to ourselves, because we all really know where we are – and a weariness with all the forms, all the conventions of the world … It’s something like that. So I guess you might say we’re a beat generation.”
Jack Kerouac

Allen Ginsberg
“I would rather go mad, gone down the dark road to Mexico, heroin dripping in my veins,
eyes and ears full of marijuana,
eating the god Peyote on the floor of a mudhut on the border
or laying in a hotel room over the body of some suffering man or woman;
rather jar my body down the road, crying by a diner in the Western sun;
rather crawl on my naked belly over the tincans of Cincinnati;
rather drag a rotten railroad tie to a Golgotha in the Rockies;
rather, crowned with thorns in Galveston, nailed hand and foot in Los Angeles, raised up to die in Denver,
pierced in the side in Chicago, perished and tombed in New Orleans and resurrected in 1958 somewhere on Garret Mountain,
come down roaring in a blaze of hot cars and garbage,
streetcorner Evangel in front of City I-Tall, surrounded by statues of agonized lions,
with a mouthful of shit, and the hair rising on my scalp,
screaming and dancing in praise of Eternity annihilating the sidewalk, annihilating reality,
screaming and dancing against the orchestra in the destructible ballroom of the world,
blood streaming from my belly and shoulders
flooding the city with its hideous ecstasy, rolling over the pavements and highways
by the bayoux and forests and derricks leaving my flesh and my bones hanging on the trees.”
Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac
“Now you're going East with Sal," Galatea said, "and what do you think you're going to accomplish by that? Camille has to stay home and mind the baby now you're gone--how can she keep her job? and she never wants to see you again and I don't blame her. If you see Ed along the road you tell him to come back to me or I'll kill him."

Just as flat as that. It was the saddest night. I felt as if I was with strange brothers and sisters in a pitiful dream. Then a complete silence fell over everybody; where once Dean would have talked his way out, he now fell silent himself, but standing in front of everybody, ragged and broken and idiotic, right under the lightbulbs, his bony mad face covered with sweat and throbbing veins, saying, "Yes, yes, yes," as though tremendous revelations were pouring into him all the time now, and I am convinced they were, and the others suspected as much and were frightened. He was BEAT--the root, the soul of Beatific.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Jack Kerouac
“Does kittykat know there's a pigeon on the clothes closet?”
Jack Kerouac, Tristessa

Jack Kerouac
“Here I was at the end of America - no more land - and now there was nowhere to go but back.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

William Carlos Williams
“We are blind and live our blind lives out in blindness. Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.”
William Carlos Williams

Diane di Prima
“There are as many kinds of kisses as there are people on earth, as there are permutations and combinations of those people. No two people kiss alike—no two people fuck alike—but somehow the kiss is more personal, more individualized than the fuck.”
Diane di Prima, Memoirs of a Beatnik

Jack Kerouac
“…of constipation of the brain & diarrhea of the mouth.”
Jack Kerouac, Scattered Poems

Moonshine Noire
“we met one strange summer

in a regular tangle of sticky webs

you had the air of angels sweet but I--

drowned with the damned spirits

in lava oceans fearing your--

foreign static frequency

and grey-green eyes

(I swear they are even if you--

think otherwise): storms

calm ones, calmer than my--

raging coals, empty and dead

you speak of souls like you believe

always an optimist in pessimistic

skin of ivory and titanium mesh...”
Moonshine Noire

Jack Kerouac
“He had a third martini. He looked at me intently and took hold of my arm. 'Look', he said. 'You're a fish in a pond. It's drying up. You have to mutate into an amphibian, but someone keeps hanging on to you and telling you to stay in the pond, everything's going to be all right.”
Jack Kerouac, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

Allen Ginsberg
“I do not wish to escape to myself, I wish to escape from myself. I wish to obliterate my consciousness and my knowledge of independent existence, my guilts, my secretiveness.”
Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

John Clellon Holmes
“...unlike the Lost Generation, which was occupied with the loss of faith, the Beat Generation is becoming more and more occupied with the need for it.”
John Clellon Holmes

Moonshine Noire
“Maybe I should stop while I'm ahead

Nay, I swim with sea-demons

no sweet summer tuned radio

over my sunless desertscape

how does it burn without the sun?”
Moonshine Noire

Patti Smith
“William Burroughs was simultaneously old and young. Part sheriff, part gumshoe. All writer. He had a medicine chest he kept locked, but if you were in pain he would open it. He did not like to see his loved ones suffer. If you were infirm he would feed you. He’d appear at your door with a fish wrapped in newsprint and fry it up. He was inaccessible to a girl but I loved him anyway.”
Patti Smith, Just Kids

John Clellon Holmes
“They were brought up in these ruins and no longer notice them.”
John Clellon Holmes

Allen Ginsberg
“I’m with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter”
Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg
“I’m with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter”
Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems

John Clellon Holmes
“For invented gods invariably disappoint those who worship them.”
John Clellon Holmes

Allen Ginsberg
“Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather boa!”
Allen Ginsberg

Hunter S. Thompson
“Coming of age in a fascist police state will not be a barrel of fun for anybody, much less for people like me, who are not inclined to suffer Nazis gladly and feel only contempt for the cowardly flag-suckers who would gladly give up their outdated freedom to live for the mess of pottage they have been conned into believing will be freedom from fear.

Ho ho ho. Let's not get carried away here. Freedom was yesterday in this country. Its value has been discounted. The only freedom we truly crave today is freedom from Dumbness. Nothing else matters.”
Hunter S. Thompson, Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-Crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century

Allen Ginsberg
“I am bored with these frantic cravings, tired of them and therefore myself, and contemptuous though tolerant of all my vast powers of self-pity and self-expressive misery.”
Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Jack Kerouac
“When you write letters to me, try not to be sophomoric and moribund about your criticisms of Jean et son weltanschauung [and his worldview.] A little more finesse, please, or if possible, a dash of humor.”
Jack Kerouac, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Allen Ginsberg
“You were right, I suppose, in keeping your distance. I was too intent on self-fulfillment, and rather crude about it, with all my harlequinade and conscious manipulation of your pity.”
Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters

Jack Kerouac
“And there's my poor endeavoring human desk at which I sit so often during the day, facing south, the papers and pencils and the coffee cup with sprigs of alpine fir and a weird orchid of the heights wiltable in one day– My Beechnut gum, my tobacco pouch, dusts, pitiful pulp magazines I have to read, view south to all those snowy majesties– The waiting is long.

On Starvation Ridge
little sticks
Are trying to grow.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels

« previous 1