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Words of Wisdom

Jack Kerouac: “I want to work in revelations…”

"I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down." -Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American writer commonly known as one of the pioneers of the Beat Generation. His most famous work is probably On the Road, a seminal novel in which Kerouac’s trademark prose — wild, rambling, and fraught with spontaneity — is prevalently featured. Kerouac died at the young age of 47 in St. Petersburg, Florida after his body finally gave out after years of alcohol abuse.


“I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.”

-Jack Kerouac, in a letter to Ed White (5 July 1950) as published in The Missouri Review, Vol. XVII, No. 3, 1994, page 137, and also quoted in Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster (1996) by Steve Turner, p. 117

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(h/t WikiQuote)

Photo credit: “Kerouac by Palumbo” by Tom Palumbo from New York, NY, USA – Jack Kerouac. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


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