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Top quotes by Jack Kerouac on life, dreams, hope, death, loss and other things.

100 Motivational Quotes By Jack Kerouac, The Author Of The Dharma Bums

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Jean Louis Lebris de Kerouac, who later came to be known as Jack Kerouac, was an American writer of poems and novels. Kerouac was one of the pioneering writers of the 1950s and 1960s, who was one of the icons of the ‘Beats Generation’ that rejected standard narratives in American society. Kerouac was an iconoclast par excellence who questioned some of the most sensitive topics in American society like religion, drug and promiscuity among other. Along with authors like Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, he became one of the most influential intellectuals of the era. During his lifetime, Kerouac had become an underground icon of sorts but his untimely death at the age of 47 in 1969 made him a mainstream star. Following his death; plenty of books had also been published posthumously and his following has only grown. Some of his most famous works include Big Sur, Visions of Cody, Mexico City Blues, The Town and the City, The Dharma Bums and many other, which are still read by people from all across the world. Kerouac was a man of great wit and wisdom, who delivered some great one-liners in his real life and also in his considerable body of work. Here are some of the very best.

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry.

- Jack Kerouac

There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.

- On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack 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.

- Jack Kerouac

The only truth is music.

- Jack Kerouac

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.

- Jack Kerouac

The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.

- On the Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream

- Jack Kerouac

Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.

- Jack Kerouac

Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.

- Jack Kerouac

I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference.

- Jack Kerouac

Will you love me in December as you do in May?

- Jack Kerouac

My witness is the empty sky.

- Jack Kerouac

It all ends in tears anyway.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

- Jack Kerouac

Because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars...

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.

- On the Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

Beautiful insane in the rain

- The Subterraneans, Jack Kerouac

What's in store for me in the direction I don't take?

- Jack Kerouac

I'm going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children.

- Jack Kerouac

It always makes me proud to love the world somehow- hate's so easy compared.

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.

- Jack Kerouac

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Life must be rich and full of loving--it's no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone.

- Selected Letters, Jack Kerouac

I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.

- Jack Kerouac

Sal, we gotta go and never stop going 'till we get there.' 'Where we going, man?' 'I don't know but we gotta go.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Houses are full of things that gather dust

- Jack Kerouac

And the story of love is a long sad tale ending in graves.

- Jack Kerouac

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.

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

I'm writing this book because we're all going to die.

- Jack Kerouac

Finding Nirvana is like locating silence.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

So therefore I dedicate myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being.

- Jack Kerouac

One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

As I grew older I became a drunk. Why? Because I like ecstasy of the mind.

- Jack Kerouac

Something good will come of all things yet

- Jack Kerouac

They have worries, they're counting the miles, they're thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they'll get there - and all the time they'll get there anyway, you see.

- On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

Pain or love or danger makes you real again....

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel, and looked at each other for the last time.

- Jack Kerouac

Don't touch me, I'm full of snakes.

- Jack Kerouac

Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.

- Jack Kerouac

I feel guilty for being a member of the human race.

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

This is the story of America. Everybody's doing what they think they're supposed to do.

- On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

A sociable smile is nothing but a mouth full of teeth

- Jack Kerouac

Are we fallen angels who didn't want to believe that nothing is nothing and so were born to lose our loved ones and dear friends one by one and finally our own life, to see it proved?

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

Things are so hard to figure out when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world.

- On the Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

My aunt once said that the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars.

- Selected Letters, Jack Kerouac

As far as I'm concerned the only thing to do is sit in a room and get drunk

- Jack Kerouac

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.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another til I drop.

- Jack Kerouac

The page is long, blank, and full of truth. When I am through with it, it shall probably be long, full, and empty with words.

- Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings, Jack Kerouac

Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH...

- Jack Kerouac

The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

We agreed to love each other madly.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.

- Jack Kerouac

I just won't sleep," I decided. There were so many other interesting things to do.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

The road is life

- Jack Kerouac

I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.

- Jack Kerouac

I promise I shall never give up, and that I'll die yelling and laughing, and that until then I'll rush around this world I insist is holy and pull at everyone's lapel and make them confess to me and to all.

- Jack Kerouac

They build their own Hells.

- Jack Kerouac

All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.

- Jack Kerouac

But, outside of being a sweet little girl, she was awfully dumb and capable of doing horrible things.

- Jack Kerouac

My eyes were glued on life and they were full of tears.

- Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings, Jack Kerouac

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.

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; NY gets god-awful cold in the winter but there's a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Forgive everyone for your own sins and be sure to tell them you love them which you do.

- Jack Kerouac

Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

His friends said, "Why do you have that ugly thing hanging there?" and Bull said, "I like it because it's ugly." All his life was in that line.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

There are worse things than being mad.

- Jack Kerouac

Sure baby, maana. It was always maana. For the next few weeks that was all I heard––maana a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

For the first time in my life the weather was not something that touched me, that caressed me, froze or sweated me, but became me.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Let nature do the freezing and frightening and isolating in this world. let men work and love and fight it off.

- Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954, Jack Kerouac

And when the fog's over and the stars and the moon come out at night it'll be a beautiful sight.

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

The beauty of things must be that they end.

- Tristessa, Jack Kerouac

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 & Pic, Jack Kerouac

Ah, it was a fine night, a warm night, a wine-drinking night, a moony night, and a night to hug your girl and talk and spit and be heavengoing.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.

- On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

The details are the life of it, I insist, say everything on your mind, don’t hold back, don’t analyze or anything as you go along, say it out.

- The Subterraneans, Jack Kerouac

Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind. Now that we know this, throw the raft away.

- The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, Jack Kerouac

...we all must admit that everything is fine and there's no need in the world to worry, and in fact we should realize what it would mean to us to UNDERSTAND that we're not REALLY worried about ANYTHING.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Bee, why are you staring at me? I am not a flower??

- Jack Kerouac

When you've understood this scripture, throw it away. If you can't understand this scripture, throw it away. I insist on your freedom.

- The Scripture of the Golden Eternity, Jack Kerouac

Pretty girls make graves

- The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

Be in love with your life, every detail of it.

- Jack 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.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

You'd be surprised how little I knew even up to yesterday

- Jack Kerouac

Love is all.

- Jack Kerouac

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.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

I wished I was on the same bus as her. A pain stabbed my heart as it did everytime I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world of ours.

- On the Road: the Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

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

- Big Sur, Jack Kerouac

It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac

And don't you know that God is Pooh Bear?

- Jack Kerouac

The road must eventually lead to the whole world.

- On the Road, Jack Kerouac