You Don’t Know Jack. Kerouac, that is.

Recently, a friend of mine passed along Jack Kerouac’s beliefs about prose. Never having read these before (oh, the shame), I was delighted to find Kerouac’s advice a bit kooky, a bit cool. There’s something inspiring in his words that I feel not only apply to writing but everyday life in general.

Alas, I am sharing. Enjoy!  

BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE
LIST OF ESSENTIALS 

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
  13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
  14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
  15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
  16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
  17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
  18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
  19. Accept loss forever
  20. Believe in the holy contour of life
  21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
  22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
  23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
  24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
  25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
  26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
  27. In Praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
  28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
  29. Youre a Genius all the time
  30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

                                                                                                As ever,
                                                                                                        Jack [Kerouac]

Jack Kerouac “Belief & Technique For Modern Prose: List of Essentials” from a 1958 letter to Don Allen, in Heaven & Other Poems, copyright © 1958, 1977, 1983. Grey Fox Press.

http://www.poetspath.com/transmissions/messages/kerouac.html

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  • Reply

    Jeff

    November 3, 2010 at 11:03 am

    So good to see these posted :) I agree….kooky but cool. :)

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