“Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict; those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.”
— William S. Burroughs
Jack Kerouac reads at Seven Arts Cafe, New York City. 1959.
“It’s not that I can’t fall in love. It’s really that I can’t help falling in love with too many things all at once So, you must understand why I can’t distinguish between what’s platonic and what isn’t, because it’s all too much and not enough at the same time.”
Still from Towers Open Fire by William Burroughs, Anthony Balch, 1963
“Writers are, in a way, very powerful indeed. They write the script for the reality film. Kerouac opened a million coffee bars and sold a million pairs of Levis to both sexes. Woodstock rises from his pages. Now if writers could get together into a real tight union, we’d have the world right by the words. We could write our own universes, and they would be as real as a coffee bar or a pair of Levis or a prom in the Jazz Age. Writers could take over the reality studio. So they must not be allowed to find out that they can make it happen. Kerouac understood long before I did. ‘Life is a dream,’ he said.”
— William S. Burroughs in Remembering Jack Kerouac (1985)
“All the cigarette butts, the bottles, the matchbooks, the come and the gone was swept up in this pile. Had they taken me with it Neal would have never seen me again. He would have to roam the entire United States and look in every garbage pail from coast to coast before he found me embryonically convoluted among the rubbishes of my life, his life and the life of everybody concerned and not concerned. What would I have said to him from my rubbish womb. ‘Don’t bother me, man, I’m happy where I am. You lost me one night in Detroit in August 1949. What right have you to come and disturb my reverie in this pukish can.’”