by Jack Kerouac
Big Sur Madness Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Her voice is the main point—she talks with a broken heart—her voice lutes brokenly like a heart lost […], it's almost too much to bear sometimes […]. I just sit and marvel and stare at her mouth wondering where all the beauty is coming from and why" (26.4)
Billie's voice is a great example of the way Jack associates sadness with beauty.
"O the sad music of it all, I've done it all, seen it all, done everything with everybody." (31.7)
Jack's madness is in part driven by the cynical boredom of his middle age.
I see it all raving before me the endless yakking kitchen mouthings of life, the long dark grave of tomby talks under midnight kitchen bulbs, in fact it fills me with love to realize that life so avid and misunderstood nevertheless reaches out skinny skeleton hand to me and to Billie too -- But you know what I mean.
And this is the way it begins. (33.1-2)
Look at the strange combination of sadness, despair, and yet appreciation that Jack feels in these moments of reflection. These conflicting feelings are at the emotional heart of the novel.