December 21, 2014

"Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately..."

"... without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk — real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious."

Jack Kerouac, "On the Road" (1951).

27 comments:

Achilles said...

Sex bots are the future.

buwaya puti said...

Kid was frustrated, couldn't get the girl, huh ?
That's the sort of thing that's kicked off heaps of poetry for the last few thousand years.
He would have been more frustrated elsewhere, Americans had something of a reputation for loose morals, in his day.

Freeman Hunt said...

Astute.

Ann Althouse said...

"Kid was frustrated, couldn't get the girl, huh ?"

No, that observation is made after sexual intercourse.

You might want to read the book, you know.

buwaya puti said...

Did, ages ago.

Saint Croix said...

Althouse, you're going to make a reader out of me yet!

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Kid was frustrated, couldn't get the girl, huh ?"

"No, that observation is made after sexual intercourse."

It varies from individual to individual but there is something some men want just as much as sex from a woman. Especially one they have affection for.

JSD said...

Oh boy, more Kerouac. I don’t think he’s competent to be giving relationship advice. I mentioned before that my brother met him in the 60’s at Nicky’s bar in Lowell. He was somebody, and then he wasn’t. That was normal in the pre-celebrity obsessed world. Like a good French-Canadian Catholic boy, he never forgot his mother. He made a disastrous decision to move back to Lowell and marry into a crazy Greek family that could facilitate in his mother’s care. They fulfilled their promise and then rigged his estate to their benefit. There are lots of Greeks in Lowell. I am sorry if I offend, but Greeks from the old country can be a vicious tribal lot.

tim in vermont said...

No, that observation is made after sexual intercourse

Not being God, or the omniscient narrator of the world, anyways, IDK, but didn't the intercourse happen in a work of fiction and the comment was directed at the author who lived in this world?

Paul said...

Used to the good guy vanquished the bad guy and then got the girl.

Now days everyone gets the girl.

Big Mike said...

You might want to read the book, you know.

Not hardly.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

If all you want is a quickie don't see why you need to engage in much conversation at all. Besides, a lot of people you'd want to have sex with, if all things were equal, you probably wouldn't mind not having a conversation with afterwards. Or before.

Skyler said...

Why was this book so highly regarded? Post modern nihilism is so cool to the cool kids. You know, the ones who find it impossible to attract the opposite sex.

Renee said...

JSD

I'm half French/Greek living in Lowell. I have no interest in his work, but definitely that line was heavily influenced by his faith.

mccullough said...

Skyler,

Have you read the book? It's not post-modern nihilism. If nothing else, the descriptions of jazz hold up well.

On the Road isn't Blood Meridian, but it's pretty good.

jr565 said...

Souls? Life is holy? Clearly Kerouac is not a lefty.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why was this book so highly regarded? Post modern nihilism is so cool to the cool kids. You know, the ones who find it impossible to attract the opposite sex."

The quote I've given you is the opposite of nihilism.

CStanley said...

It's a decent quote but I still have no interest in his body of work. He didn't live as though life were holy; he was either hypocritical in that regard or he had a perverted sense of holiness.

JSD said...

Kerouac has nothing to with nihilism. He documented a wild journey that celebrated life. However, at his core, he was conservative and Catholic. The Catholicism of immigrant families, French Canadians, Irish, Italians is instantly recognizable. I grew up in a large Irish immigrant family, with lots of wild cousins who had crazy epic adventures. At the heart there’s always family, mother, damnation, guilt and forgiveness. It’s in your core long after you stop going to church. Most of my WASP friends are completely bewildered by this outlook.

bbkingfish said...

Our hostess seems surprised that her audience reads without comprehension.

That's pretty funny. She must not read the comments very often.

mccullough said...

CStanley,

Before you read a book do you always research whether the author lived a holy life?

What books have you read?


Anonymous said...

Kerouac was not a lefty, despite the lifestyle he portrayed in his works. He was a firm conservative, he disparaged the work ethic of two Mexican illegals in, On The Road, defended our role in Vietnam, and, yes, loved his mother, startling, I know, in an age of Obama friend Bill Ayers calling on young people to, "...kill your parents," all of which earned him the enmity of the left.

When he returned to Lowell Kerouac had a severe drinking problem and was picked up many times by the Lowell Police, after a night of drinking, at a bar his brother-in-law owned, if I remember correctly.

kcom said...

"at a bar his brother-in-law owned, if I remember correctly."

I'll guess Nicky’s. (See JSD above.)

CStanley said...

McCullough,
I have no idea how you extrapolated that from my comment. Ann presented a quote, and I responded to it. The "holy" comment comes from that quote and has nothing to do with a personal litmus test for authors that I read.

CStanley said...

To perhaps clarify: my reference to holiness is from the quote, and I was expressing skepticism that he really believes what he wrote. A true belief of the holiness of life is not compatible with drinking oneself to an early death.

JSD said...

Maybe Tom Waits could be a holy drunk.

As I pulled away slowly, feeling so holy
God knows, I was feeling alive.
Now the sun’s coming up, I’m riding with Lady Luck
Freeways cars and trucks
Stars beginning to fade, as I lead the parade
Just a-wishing I’d stayed a little longer
Oh Lord let me tell you the feelings getting stronger