beacon of rich warm light

In honor of Jack Keroauc's 90th birthday:

"I returned to college in the Fall, but my mind wasn’t at rest. My family was not any too well fixed; I felt out of place, the coaches were insulting, I was lonely; I left and went down to the South to think things over. Since then, on my own, I have been learning fast, writing a lot, reading good men, and have been slowly making up my mind, seriously & quietly. Either I am loathsome to others, I have decided, or else I shall be a beacon of rich warm light, spreading good and plenty, making things prosper, being a cosmic architect, conquering the world and being respected, myself grinning surreptitiously. Either that, Sirs, or I shall be the most loathsome, useless, and parasitical (on myself) creature in the world. I shall be a denizen of the Underground, or a successful man of the world. There shall be no compromise!!! I mean it."
Jack Kerouac would have been 90 today. Celebrate with this fantastic diary entry he penned at the tender age of 19, at once a living testament to the richness of life as a college-dropout-turned-lifelong-learner and a poignant meditation on the most fundamental tension of the human condition.
Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac (March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation.[2] Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic spiritualityjazzpromiscuityBuddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. His writings have inspired other writers, including Ken KeseyBob DylanEddie VedderRichard BrautiganCurtis MeanorThomas Pynchon,[3] Lester BangsTom RobbinsWill ClarkeBen GibbardHaruki MurakamiJacquelyn Landgraf.[citation needed]Kerouac became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.[4] In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long-standing abuse of alcohol. Since his death Kerouac's literary prestige has grown and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, among them: On the RoadDoctor SaxThe Dharma Bums, Mexico City BluesThe SubterraneansDesolation Angels,Visions of Cody and Big Sur.
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