Monday, June 18, 2007

hey, Jack Kerouac

I've just started reading a book widely regarded as an American classic, Jack Kerouac's On the Road. I've had it for over five years now, but like more than a few books on my shelves, I've never sat down to read it. Until now, that is. I'm putting off buying the latest Oprah's Book Club selection to give some time to this book. We'll see how it goes, and I'll certainly talk about it from time to time.

For now, let me just give a little quote. This is what Sal, the "voice" of the book, says after two of his friends meet, form an instant connection, and take off together down the street.
But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because 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 never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
I'm purposely avoiding reviews and websites devoted to On the Road. I don't know if the above quote is one that many people like, but I think it says something about not just the character of Sal, but of the viewpoint of many people. Naturally, I'm most interested in those people who are "mad to be saved." What do they believe they need to be saved from?

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