I never take those Facebook quizzes. Once in a while I want to take one just to see if the grammar in the questions is as horrible as in the little snippets you see when one of your friends takes one - but, no, I never take one.
Except one time I took one. A bunch of my Dangerous Writer friends were taking the Which Famous Writer Are You [or some such] quiz, and everyone was coming up with Kerouac, and they were having such a fun time laughing about everyone coming up with Kerouac that I wanted to be Kerouac too. So I took the quiz.
I think I read On the Road in high school. I say that because I was supposed to read it and I remember putting my eyes down the pages, but I don't really know what I got out of it. I think what I got out of it was bored - but then again I was in high school and if it couldn't make me cry like Of Mice and Men, I probably wasn't really absorbing much of it.
But I have a little library where I get audiobooks for my walks to and from work. This time around I came upon The Dharma Bums. And funny - listening to it, I hear little bits of my own sound. Some ways of using language, some forms of rhythm that sound good in my head and come out on the page. I'm not reeeeeaaally comparing myself to Kerouac, but after that quiz, it was fun to cut in on my walk to work that first day and say aloud, "Oh my god, I really am Kerouac."
Here's a passage I liked enough on my walk yesterday that I had to transcribe it...
"But now I was three miles into the industrial jungle of LA in mad sick sniffling smog night, and had to sleep all that night by a wire fence in a ditch by the tracks, being waked up all night by rackets of Southern Pacific and Santa Fe switchers bellyaching around, till fog and clear of midnight, when I breathed better (thinking and praying in my sack) but then more fog and smog again and horrible damp white cloud of dawn and my bag too hot to sleep in and outside too raw to stand, nothing but horror all night long, except at dawn a little bird blessed me."
Woman at a Mirror, by Gerard ter Borch, circa 1652
21 hours ago