Jack Kerouac Quotes for Lovers of Live

Time to get inspired from these Jack Kerouac Quotes.

“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 was born in Lowell, Massachusetts where, he said, he “roamed fields and riverbanks by day and night, wrote little novels in my room”. His most famous novels are On the Road, The Subterraneans and The Dharma Bums.

His first more orthodox published novel was The Town and the City.

Jack Kerouac, who described himself as a ‘strange solitary crazy Catholic mystic,’ was working on his longest novel, a surrealistic study of the last ten years of his life when he died in 1969, aged forty-seven.

Kerouac decided to become a writer at age 17 under the influence of Sebastian Sampas, local young poet, who later died on Anzio beach head; read the life of Jack London at 18 and decided to also be a lonesome traveler.

Early literary influences included Saroyan and Hemingway; later Wolfe. After breaking his leg in Freshman football, Kerouac “read Tom Wolfe and roamed his New York on crutches”.

Jack Kerouac by the window

Other works by Jack Kerouac include Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Gerard, Tristessa, and a book of poetry called Mexico City Blues. On the Road: The Original Scroll, the full uncensored transcription of the original manuscript of On the Road, is published by Penguin Modern Classics.

Jack Kerouac Quotes

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”

“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”

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

“My witness is the empty sky.”

“All of life is a foreign country.”

Mountain and lake and sky and trees
Wild Nature

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

 “Mankind is like dogs, not gods – as long as you don’t get mad they’ll bite you – but stay mad and you’ll never be bitten. Dogs don’t respect humility and sorrow.”

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

“The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.”

“Maybe that’s what life is… a wink of the eye and winking stars.”

“I’d rather hop freights around the country and cook my food out of tin cans over wood fires, than be rich and have a home or work.”

“I felt free and therefore I was free.”

Women reading kerouac
Reading Kerouac ©Kinga Cichwiecz

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

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

“If you own a rug you own too much.”

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

“Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream.”

“Houses are full of things that gather dust.”

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

boats on lake with storm
Stormy skies

“The road must eventually lead to the whole world.”

“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.”

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all.”

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”

“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.”

Life on The Road

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

“And he had a nice home in Ohio with wife, daughter, Christmas tree, two cars, garage, lawn, lawnmower, but he couldn’t enjoy any of it because he really wasn’t free. It was sadly true.”

“Paris is a woman but London is an independent man puffing his pipe in a pub.”

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.”

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

“You can’t live in this world but there’s nowhere else to go.”

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

“Hell! I’m glad I did it. It’s going to be a change. I call this life!”

“Something good will come of all things yet.”

Jack Kerouac Quotes

If you enjoyed these Jack Kerouac Quotes then try these nature, climbing or surfing quotes.