In a sense, what's happening with Burroughs and with Kerouac, the person has become a shaman, the body of the life has turned prophetic, and the message is coming through that body. (p. 191)
"O foot tired in climes so mysterious,
Don't go down the outside for nothing."
Kerouac, from Scattered Poems
"A lemon lot, and how's a man going to make a living with a gang like that?"
He [Kerouac]'s considered a naive or a primitive, but Kerouac had a better grasp on American manners and political manners than most writers..." p. 214
This [from On the Road] is quite smart about 42nd Street, because when you look deep into 42nd Street you realize there's water at both ends of the street, but when you're in the middle of 42nd Street you think you're in the middle of the continent with all the neon blinking and the tall buildings. (p. 235)
In terms of the popular culture, Kerouac was preternaturally brilliant and penetrant. I think that's why the whole Beat Generation, beginning in the mid-fifties, had so much power. Not that Kerouac was that smart, or Burroughs, but that what they were looking at was very basic and common sense. American cultural mentality, media consciousness, Hollywood, radio, TV, the news magazines that intellectuals nourished themselves on were so shallow in their spiritual ambition that any basic statement, even if couched in bohemian terms, was a revelation. p. 239
"In the Morgue" poem by Gregory Corso
That [Dean Moriarty's description of a saxophone player in On The Road]'s a pretty accurate description of inspiration, which is to say breath. I would now define it by hindsight as unobstructed breath, as a physiciological state of unobstructed breathing, which is known as inspiration, spiritus, breath.