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'On the Road' Quotes

Jack Kerouac's Autobiographical Novel

By

On the Road

On the Road

Penguin
  • "At lilac evening I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 1

  • "Then a complete silence fell over everybody; where once Dean would have talked his way out, he now fell silent himself, but standing in front of everybody, ragged and broken and idiotic, right under the lightbulbs, his bony mad face covered with sweat and throbbing veins..."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 1

  • "Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired faces in the dawn of Jazz America."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 4

  • "Our final excited joy in talking and living to the blank tranced end of all innumerable riotous angelic particulars that had been lurking in our souls all our lives."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 5

  • "They have worries, they're counting the miles, they're thinking about where to sleep tonight, how much money for gas, the weather, how they'll get there--and all the time they'll get there anyway, you see."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 5

  • "Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 5

  • "Our battered suitcases were were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 5

  • "You don't die enough to cry."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 5

  • "Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who had paraded on official days and broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime. Then there was swing, and Roy Eldridge, vigorous and virile, blasting the horn for everything it had in waves of power and logic and subtlety - leaning into it with glittering eyes and a lovely smile and sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 10

  • "Here were the children of the American bop night."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 10

  • "Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the world and would raise men's souls to joy."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 10

  • "Her great dark eyes surveyed me with emptiness and a kind of chagrin that reached back generations and generations in her blood from not having done what was crying to be done--whatever it was, and everybody knows what it was."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 11

  • "What difference does it make after all?--anonymity in the world of men is better than fame in heaven, for what's heaven? what's earth? All in the mind."
    - Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 3, Ch. 11

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