Kerouac

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“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was – I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I’d never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Kerouac was a prolific, inspiring writer (one of the Beats) who developed a true stream of consciousness style. His most famous book On The Road was a great example of this. The darker side of his life is the fact that he eventually swore off his old friends like Allen Ginsberg, and returned home to live with his mother. He slowly drowned himself in alcohol with occasional appearances on tv in the early 60s. He died of alcohol-induced liver failure. Despite this, he remains a towering figure in the firmament of the great writers. He is interesting here as an embodiment of the creative life. And a warning from the Dionysian Muse that the creative life can be dangerous too.

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