Sunday, 11 August 2013

'Be In Love With Your Own Life' - Jack Kerouac Quotes


While your correspondent is not the biggest Kerouac fan, he acknowledges a debt of gratitude to the Beat Writers for the gifts they gave him of Blake and Whitman, Ginsberg's Howl and Kaddish, and Burroughs' Junky and the Cities of The Red Night trilogy. These and many other writers such as Neruda, Sharon Olds, DH Lawrence etc, helped me see that I could be a writer, a poet, or anything I wanted, even though the literary world of writers and reviewers is often dominated by a small elite who cannot understand what an ordinary man such as myself is writing about.  The writers who inspire me tend to believe in the stories of people usually left out from the homogenised reams we are told are contemporary literature. These greats helped me see that an artist can arise in any section of society. Just because someone might have the connections, financial backing and have been to the right schools etc, it doesn't necessarily make them an artist, a writer, even if every prize and good review goes to them, as that is often just that world auto-fixating on itself, and telling us we don't matter by simple dint of exclusion at best. The writers I love cut through all that, and somehow real books find their way through the blockages, (How many writers and books are lost though through the narrow view, I wonder.) 

As difficult Kerouac is as a person, these lists and the basic tenets of his philosophy do have a lot of truth in them, and I'll take these over so much of what I'm told is valuable but leaves the heart unmoved, and our stories not told, or even worse badly laid down to support a classist point of view which helps the status quo endure and grow in its power by creating division. We do not have to give up who we are and pretend to be part of that world either, look at how many writers have sold their integrity to get that privileged approval. I ask you never to do that, it is a matter of your soul at stake.

We have a choice how we live - that much is true, we can walk around in the gloom of capitalism's gasping dying breaths, or we can find a way to take a breath of our own. I particularly am moved by 'Be In Love With Your Own Life,' from this list. To do that for real in these narcissistic times. - A Joycean YES to that.

Belief and Technique Essentials by Jack Kerouac

# Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
# Submissive to everything, open, listening
# Try never get drunk outside yr own house
# Be in love with yr life
# Something that you feel will find its own form
# Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
# Blow as deep as you want to blow
# Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
# The unspeakable visions of the individual
# No time for poetry but exactly what is
# Visionary tics shivering in the chest
# In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
# Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
# Like Proust be an old teahead of time
# Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
# The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
# Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
# Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
# Accept loss forever
# Believe in the holy contour of life
# Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
# Don't think of words when you stop but to see picture better
# Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
# No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
# Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
# Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
# In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
# Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
# You're a Genius all the time
# Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

3 comments:

Mohamed Mughal said...

Since I've always enjoyed expressive liberation, I have to say my favorite is: Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition.

Rehan Qayoom said...

I can't claim to agree with every bit of this but it does seem to have been scribbled in his more sober moments.

Anonymous said...

I like 'Something that you feel will find its own form.' I find that refreshing and empowering.