On the Road

By Jack Kerouac



Originally published

Sep 5, 1957


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From SSC:
“On The Road seems to be a picture of a high-trust society. Drivers assume hitchhikers are trustworthy and will take them anywhere. Women assume men are trustworthy and will accept any promise. Employers assume workers are trustworthy and don't bother with background checks. It's pretty neat.
But On The Road is, most importantly, a picture of a high-trust society collapsing. And it's collapsing precisely because the book's protagonists are going around defecting against everyone they meet at a hundred ten miles an hour.”
“if Jack and Dean tried the same thing today, they'd be one of about a billion college students and aimless twenty-somethings with exactly the same idea, posting their photos to Instagram tagged "holy", "ecstatic", and "angelic". There's nothing wrong with that. But it doesn't seem like a good stopping-point for a philosophy. It doesn't even seem like good escapism. I'd be willing to tolerate all the pointless criminality if it spoke to the secret things that I've always wanted to do in my hidden heart of hearts, but I'd like to think there's more there than driving back and forth and going to what seem like kind of lackluster parties.”

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