Quotes from On the Road – Jack Kerouac


  • Then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because 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 never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight, pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
  • “I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.”
    “Tôi thức giấc khi mặt trời đang đỏ dần lên; và đó là một thời điểm khác thường của cuộc đời tôi, khoảnh khắc kì lạ nhất, khi tôi không biết mình là ai – xa nhà, mệt lử với chuyến du hành, những khách sạn rẻ tiền tồi tàn tôi chưa từng thấy bao giờ, nghe thấy cả tiếng xì của ống hơi nước, tiếng cọt kẹt của gỗ cũ lâu năm của khách sạn, tiếng chân lầu trên, và tất cả những thanh âm buồn tẻ, tôi nhìn lên vết nứt trên trần nhà và thật sự đã không biết mình là ai trong khoảng 15 giây kì lạ. Tôi chẳng sợ gì cả; tôi chỉ là ai đó, người xa lạ nào đó, và toàn độ cuộc đời tôi là một cuộc đời mệt lử đầy ám ảnh, cuộc đời của một bóng ma.”
  • Crossing and recrossing the country every year, south in the winter and north in the summer, and only 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, generally the Western stars.
  • “The world owes me a few things, that’s all.”
  • My stay in San Francisco was coming to an end… Here I was at the end of America – no more land – and now there was nowhere to go but back.
  • I asked for nothing in return.
  • I wished I was on her bus. 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.
  • I hated every one of them. Who did they think they were, yaahing at somebody on the road just because they were little high-school punks and their parents carved the roast beef on Sunday afternoons? Who did they think they were, making fun of a girl reduced to poor circumstances with a man who wanted to be love?
  • The floors of bus station are the same all over the country, always covered with butts and spit and they give a feeling of sadness that only bus stations have.
  • Something, someone, some spirit was pursuing all of us across the desert of life and was bound to catch us before we reached heaven. Naturallly, now that I look back on it, this is only death: death will overtake us before heaven. The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, that makes us sigh and groan and undergo sweet nauseas of all kinds, is the remembrance of some lost bliss that was probably experienced in the womb and can only be reproduced (though we hate to admit it) in death.
  • 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.
    Anh thích quá nhiều thứ, để rồi rối rắm và mắc kẹt, chạy đi chạy lại giữa những vì sao rơi cho đến khi anh ngã quỵ. Này là đêm tối, nó làm được gì cho em. Anh chẳng có gì để gởi trao ai ngoài mớ hỗn độn của chính mình.
  • “Sal, we gotta go and never stop going ’till we get there.’
    ‘Where we going, man?’
    ‘I don’t know but we gotta go.”
  • What do you want out of life?
    …What do you do in a warm summer’s night?
  • “All I hope, Dean, is someday we’ll be able to live on the same street with our families and get to be a couple of oldtimers together.”
  • The bottom of the world is gold and the world is upside down.
  • “Ask him if we can get any tea. Hey kid, you got maareewana?”
  • It blew into your throat in one great blast of heat. We held our breaths and all let out just about simultaneously. Instantly we were all high.
  • For a long time I lost consciousness in my lower mind of what we were doing and only came around sometime later when I looked up from fire and silence like waking from sleep to the world or waking from void to a dream.



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