On the Road by Jack Kerouac

ah woe is me.
i haven’t been reading anything lately and i’ve picked up and put down a lot of books.
i wasn’t able to finish Hemingway’s The Old Man And the sea! Even though it was rather thin and the font was big…
i suppose that i am not in much of a reading mood.

Weird, so unproductive lately. I know that counting the number of books that i’ve read isn’t much of … in terms of doing actual work but it’s a lot more than what i normally do, which is nothing.

i must say that i’m quite depressed because of it.
anyways, it’ll get better…

so what did i think?
i read the introduction of the On The Road a long time ago (on the Penguin Classics edition with the intro by Ann Charters). And the introduction was fascinating, especially the part about that he wrote the novel in 3 weeks on an continuous scroll.

I guess these days you really don’t have to think about things like, oh crap, do i have enough paper for my kickass novel? Because the word document can never end….

I think I could have enjoyed the book a lot more if I weren’t in this directionless phase myself. It really takes the punch out of the book because I am constantly thinking too, okay, when are they going to settle down? Simply because I want to settle down so much (not that I’m traveling at all, but that I want to find a normal job and just stop living the life that I have right now). Dean Moriarty (teehee, Moriarty) ‘s character didn’t fascinate me as much as it apparently fascinated people when the book was published. For one thing, he just seemed like someone that couldn’t make up his mind about anything, and he took to traveling like an addict takes to a zip lock bag of cocaine. This is just my take on it, but traveling represents freedom, because on the road means being in limbo. You have no responsibilities while on the road other than to get to the destination. And hence he’s constantly moving in between New York and San Francisco (or as they call it, Frisco), and dragging our narrator, Sal with him.

I’m envying a lot of people’s lives right now, fictional or non-fictional. But I am not envying the life on the road, somehow it didn’t appeal to me at all, even though I sometimes enjoy spur of the moment adventures… (though less and less as I get older).

And as usual, a few quotes~~

page 70:

Remi was just like a little boy. Somewhere in his past, in his lonely schooldays in France, they’d taken everything from him; his stepparents just stuck him in schools and left him there; he was browbeaten and thrown out of one school after another; he walked the French roads at night devising curses out of his innocent stock of words. He was out to get back everything he’d lost; there was no end to his loss; this thing would drag on forever.

wow look at that use of semi-colons!

page 82:

I was so lonely, so sad, so tired, so quivering, so broken, so beat, that I got up my courage, the courage necessary to approach a strange girl, and acted. Even though I spent five minutes beating my thighs in the dark as the bus rolled down the road.

You gotta, you gotta or you’ll die! Damn fool, talk to her! What’s wrong with you? Aren’t you tired enough of yourself by now? And before I knew what I was doing I leaned across the aisle to her (she was trying to sleep on the seat) and said, “Miss, would you like to use my raincoat for a pillow?”

page 86:

I never felt sadder in my life. LA is the loneliest and most brutal of american cities; New York gets god-awful cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.

page 106

Isn’t it true that you start your life a sweet child believing in everything under your father’s roof? then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life.

page 156: 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-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.

page 213: And suddenly Dean’s eyes grew tearful and he got up and left his food steaming there and walked out of the restaurant. I wondered if he was just wandering off forever. I didn’t care, I was so mad – had flipped momentarily and turned it down on Dean. But the sight of his uneaten food made me sadder than anything in years. I shouldn’t have said that … he likes to eat so much … He’s never left his food like this … What the hell. That’s showing him, anyway.

Posted: April 9th, 2012
Categories: BOOKS, QUOTES
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