Bio: Born on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac’s writing career began in the 1940s, but didn’t meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published. The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation. Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, from an abdominal hemorrhage, at age 47. 
- When World War II broke out, in a drunken haze he enlisted in the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard all on the same day. He ultimately shipped out for Naval training at Great Lakes, but soured on the whole idea after a few weeks, and started to give an unfinished manuscript more attention than anything else. Sensing a breakdown of some kind, his superiors sent him for psychological evaluation, leading to his discharge from the Navy. 
- Kerouac wrote On the Road in only a few weeks on one long scroll of typewriter paper without paragraph, page, or chapter breaks. This original scroll sold for $2.43 million to Jim Irsay, owner of the Indiana Colts, at an auction in 2001. 
- Kerouac came up with the scroll idea so he could write as quickly as possible, without having to take time to change pages in his typewriter. He originally hoped the novel would also be published in scroll format, so readers could experience his single long paragraph without the distraction of page-turning. 
- His last marriage was to Stella Sampas, the sister of his friend and writing mentor Sammy Sampas (who died at Anzio during World War II). She had waited more than twenty years in their hometown (Lowell MA) for Jack to come back for her. 
- While Kerouac wrote On the Road, he subsisted primarily on pea soup and coffee. 
The evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.
from On the Road
Take nothing for granted.
Quote with 6 notes
"My life came to a standstill. I could breathe, eat, drink, and sleep, and I could not help doing these things; but there was no life, for there were no wishes the fulfillment of which I could consider reasonable. If I desired anything, I knew in advance that whether I satisfied my desire or not, nothing would come of it. Had a fairy come and offered to fulfill my desires I should not have know what to ask. If in moments of intoxication I felt something which, though not a wish, was a habit left by former wishes, in sober moments I knew this to be a delusion and that there was really nothing to wish for. I could not even wish to know the truth, for I guessed of what it consisted. The truth was that life is meaningless. I had as it were lived, lived, and walked, walked, till I had come to a precipice and saw clearly that there was nothing ahead of me but destruction. It was impossible to stop, impossible to go back, and impossible to close my eyes or avoid seeing that there was nothing ahead but suffering and real death - complete annihilation."
My question - that which at the age of fifty brought me to the verge of suicide - was the simplest of questions, lying in the soul of every man from the foolish child to the wisest elder: it was a question without an answer to which one cannot live, as I had found by experience. It was: “What will come of what I am doing today or shall do tomorrow? What will come of my whole life?”
Differently expressed, the question is: “Why should I live, why wish for anything, or do anything?” It can also be expressed thus: “Is there any meaning in my life that the inevitable death awaiting me does not destroy?”” (Leo Tolstoy, A Confession)
Making The Dark Knight Rises.
Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining (1980)
There is only one life. There is so much I don’t understand. But this, I know: you can wake up to your higher self, you can be patient and you can be kind, you can be wise and almost whole, you can walk out of hell and into the light. You don’t have to run away from life your whole life. You can really live. And you can change.
“The truth is you already know what it’s like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.
But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think…The truth is you’ve already heard this. That this is what it’s like. That it’s what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you’re a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it’s only a part. Who wouldn’t? It’s called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it’s why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali–it’s not English anymore, it’s not getting squeezed through any hole.
So cry all you want, I won’t tell anybody.”
— David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
Irvin Kershner and Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back(1983)
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.
This totally justifies every excuse I’ve been giving myself from not doing that thing I’m supposed to do.
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