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Big Sur Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Big Sur
  1. #1
    “But now George has TB and they tell me he may even die... Which adds to that darkness in my mind, all these DEATH things piling up suddenly -- But I cant believe old Zen Master George is going to allow his body to die.”
  2. #2
    “And such things -- A whole mess of little joys like that amazing me when I came back in the horror of later to see how they’d all changed and become sinister, even my poor little wooden platform and mill race when my eyes and stomach nauseous and my soul screaming a thousand babbling words, oh -- It’s hard to explain and best thing to do is not be false.”
  3. #3
    “And as far as I can see the world is too old for us to talk about it with our new words -- We will pass just as quietly through life (passing through, passing through) as the 10th century people of this valley only with a little more noise and a few bridges and dams and bombs that wont even last a million years -- The world being just what it is, moving and passing through.”
  4. #4
    “All said So-Is sight of the world, right there in front of my nose as I look, -- And looking at that valley in fact I also realize I have to make lunch and it wont be any different than the lunch of those olden men and besides it’ll taste good -- Everything is the same.”
  5. #5
    “Tho why after three weeks of perfect happy peace and adjustment in these strange woods my soul so went down the drain when I came back with Dave Wain and Romana and my girl Billie and her kid, I’ll never know -- Worth the telling only if I dig deep into everything.”
  6. #6
    “That first night I sit there and all I know, as I look up, is the kitchen light is on, on the cliff, to the right, where somebody’s just built a cabin overlooking all the horrible Sur, somebody up there’s having a mild and tender supper that’s all I know...”
  1. #7
    “There’s the poor little mouse eating her nightly supper in the humble corner where I’ve put out a little delight-plate full of cheese and chocolate candy (for my days of killing mice are over).”
  2. #8
    “My old thoughts about the silt of a billion years covering all this and all cities and generations eventually is just a dumb old thought, ‘Only a silly sober fool could think it, imagine gloating over such nonsense’ (because in one sense the drinker learns wisdom, in the words of Goethe or Blake or whichever it was “The pathway to wisdom lies through excess’) – But in this condition you can only say ‘Wisdom is just another way to make people sick.‘”
  3. #9
    “Nevertheless I go there every night even tho I don’t feel like it, it’s my duty (and probably drove me mad), and write these sea sounds, and all the whole insane poem ‘Sea.‘”
  4. #10
    “I’m bursting to explain everything to him, not even Big Sur but the past several years, but there’s no chance with everybody yakking -- And in fact I can see in Cody’s eyes that he can see in my own eyes the regret we both feel that recently we haven’t had chances to talk whatever, like we used to do driving across America and back in the old road days, too many people now want to talk to us and tell us their stories, we’ve been hemmed in and surrounded and outnumbered -- The circle’s closed in on the old heroes of the night.”
  5. #11
    “Pacific fury flashing on rocks that rise like gloomy sea shroud towers out of the cove, the bingbang cove with its seas booming inside caves and slapping out, the cities of seaweed floating up and down you can even see their dark leer in the phosphorescent seabeach nightlight.”
  6. #12
    “But Cody’s oldfashioned family tiptoe sneak carries that strange apocalyptic burst of gold he somehow always manages to produce, like I said elsewhere the time in Mexico he drove an old car over a rutted road very slowly as we were all high on tea and I saw golden Heaven, or the other times he’s always seemed so golden like as I say in a davenport of some sort in Heaven in the golden top of Heaven.”

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  1. #13
    ″(all over America high school and college kids thinking “Jack Duluoz is 26 years old and on the road all the time hitch hiking” while there I am almost 40 years old, bored and jaded in a roomette bunk crashin across that Salt Flat)”
  2. #14
    “The road’s up there on the wall a thousand feet with a sheer drop sometimes, ... And worst of all is the bridge! I go ambling seaward along the path by the creek and see this awful thin white line of bridge a thousand unbridgeable sighs of height above the little woods.”
  3. #15
    “All kinds of strange and marvelous things like the weird Ripley situation of a huge tree that’s fallen across a creek maybe 500 years ago and’s made a bridge thereby.”
  4. #16
    “I’ve got the directions all memorized from a little map Monsanto’s mailed me but in my imagination dreaming about this big retreat back home there’d been something larkish, bucolic, all homely woods and gladness instead of all this aerial roaring mystery in the dark.”
  5. #17
    “O the sad music of it all, I’ve done it all, seen it all, done everything with everybody.”
  6. #18
    “In fact, flying silently around my lamplit cabin at 3 o’clock in the morning as I’m reading (of all things) (shudder) Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde -- Small wonder maybe that I myself turned from serene Jekyll to hysterical Hyde in the short space of six weeks, losing absolute control of the peace mechanisms of my mind for the first time in my life.”
  7. #19
    “I see it all raving before me the endless yakking kitchen mouthings of life, the long dark grave of tomby talks under midnight kitchen bulbs, in fact it fills me with love to realize that life so avid and misunderstood nevertheless reaches out skinny skeleton hand to me and to Billie too -- But you know what I mean.
    And this is the way it begins.”
  8. #20
    “So once again I’m Ti Jean the Child, playing, sewing patches, cooking suppers, washing dishes (always kept the kettle boiling on the fire and anytime dishes needed to be washed I just pour hot hot water into pan with Tide soap and soak them good and then wipe them clean after scouring with little 5-&-10 wire scourer).”
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