Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Tuesday Teaser: The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac (a Handsome Devil)

My first Tuesday Teaser is from The Dharma Bums by the one and only Jack Kerouac. A whole two years ago, when I was beginning my third year at university, I decided to do my ten thousand word dissertation on Kerouac's Dulouz Legend. The then head of the department, Robert Hampson, wasn't very keen on me studying Kerouac at all, as he said it was almost impossible "not to revert to biography". I didn't agree, and after half an hour of intellectual wrangling I succeeded in getting my proposal accepted, although I was by then second-guessing myself completely, and really wondering if academics really knew best about what I should be doing, and whether or not I should be nice and safe and study a well-approved subject like old William or Charles. Then I went home, began to study, and came across this lovely little diamond of Jack's:

Colleges being nothing but grooming schools for the middleclass non-identity which usually finds its perfect expression on the outskirts of the campus in rows of well-to-do houses with lawns and television sets is each living room with everybody looking at the same thing and thinking the same thing at the same time while the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstasy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.

1 comments:

Lu said...

Great teaser!

Lu
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