30 Best Jack Kerouac Quotes

30 Best Jack Kerouac Quotes

This is a collection of the best of Jack Kerouac, the literary iconoclast of the beat generation. 


Kerouac was known for his gritty yet youthful inspirational stories of both passion and travel.


Perhaps his most famous work, On the Road, was published in 1957, and still captivates readers today with its whimsical and wayward spirit.

"Be in love with your life, every detail of it."

"The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who... burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles."

"Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars."

"All of life is a foreign country."

"I'd rather hop freights around the country and cook my food out of tin cans over wood fires, than be rich and have a home or work."

"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain."

"I felt free and therefore I was free."

"So therefore I dedicate myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labours, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being."

"Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree."

"If you own a rug you own too much."

"Avoid the world, it's just a lot of dust and drag and means nothing in the end."

"Things are so hard to figure out when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world."

"Don't use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry."

"Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream."

"Houses are full of things that gather dust."

"There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars."

"The road must eventually lead to the whole world."

"I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility."

"I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all."

"Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."

"My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad."

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road."

"And he had a nice home in Ohio with wife, daughter, Christmas tree, two cars, garage, lawn, lawnmower, but he couldn't enjoy any of it because he really wasn't free. It was sadly true."

"Paris is a woman but London is an independent man puffing his pipe in a pub."

"The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view."

"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

"You can't live in this world but there's nowhere else to go."

"Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."

"Hell! I’m glad I did it. It’s going to be a change. I call this life!"

"Something good will come of all things yet."