I didn't know who I was--I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost.
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Source Notes: On the Road (part 1, section 3) (1957). Kerouac describes the reality of travelling across the country as a hitchhiker.
Jack Kerouac (March 12, 1922 October 21, 1969) was an American novelist, writer, poet, artist, and part of the Beat Generation. While enjoying popular but little critical success during his own lifetime, Kerouac is now considered one of America's most important authors. Kerouac's spontaneous, confessional language style inspired other writers, including Tom Robbins, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, and Bob Dylan.
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