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Big Sur

Big Sur


by Jack Kerouac

Big Sur Literature and Writing Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

"One fast move or I'm gone, " I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you cant learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline take, or Peyote goop up with – (2.1)

From the beginning of the novel, Jack admits that his kind of sickness can only be felt – it can't be understood through literary renderings.

Quote #2

Tho why after three weeks of perfect happy peace and adjustment in these strange woods my soul so went down the drain when I came back with Dave Wain and Romana and my girl Billie and her kid, I'll never know -- Worth the telling only if I dig deep into everything. (5.2)

Jack has already suggested that his experiences can't be adequately explained to his readers. Maybe he's writing Big Sur for his own benefit, to better understand what happened in the cabin by the woods.

Quote #3

And such things -- A whole mess of little joys like that amazing me when I came back in the horror of later to see how they'd all changed and become sinister, even my poor little wooden platform and mill race when my eyes and stomach nauseous and my soul screaming a thousand babbling words, oh -- It's hard to explain and best thing to do is not be false. (6.7)

Big Sur is characterized by a raw honesty – as though Kerouac is attempting, quite genuinely, to figure out and convey his experiences to us.

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